Property Transactions Continue to Decline in September

Residential property transactions saw a year-on-year, seasonally adjusted increase of 4.6% in September, according to the latest statistics by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC), indicating a slowdown from the 6.6% annual rise reported the month before.

As the lack of supply continued to weigh heavily on the market, transactions dropped by 1.8% from August’s total, to just 100,850.

Non-residential transactions saw a more negative picture in September, as the number of sales fell by 7.8% over the month of September.

Furthermore, an annual decline of 10.5% was also reported last month, as the total number of non-residential transactions reached 9,440.

Commenting on the report, the director of the Legal & General Mortgage Club, Jeremy Duncombe, said:

‘With no real incentive or boost for house building, supply remains subdued and buyer activity remains sluggish. The only way we will see transaction numbers grow is with an injection of activity into the house building sector that has to be led by No 10.’

In the light of recent announcements by the government, he continued:

‘Only time will tell if they can deliver on their promises. Otherwise, intergenerational inequality in the housing market will continue to rise, with Generation Rent struggling to become Generation Buy.’

Leasehold Property Watchdog to be Launched by Government

An independent property watchdog has been proposed by the Government to tackle unfair practices in leasehold property sales.

Announced by Sajid Javid, communities minister, the suggested organisation will address rising service charges and ground rents in residential property purchases, following pressure from homeowners to confront the rising cost of owning a leasehold property.

In a document published earlier this week, Mr Javid invited the views of the public and the property industry, to find out how the Government can best protect the UK’s four million leasehold homeowners.

‘This is supposed to be the age of the empowered consumer,’ said Mr Javid. ‘Yet in property management, we’re living in the past.

‘Our proposed changes to regulate the industry will give landlords, renters and leaseholders the confidence they need to know that their agents must comply with the rules,’ he continued.

Research from independent consumer research group Which? revealed that the UK’s leaseholders were being held liable for an additional bn in costs per year, with the estimated value of service charges alone now reaching bn a year in the UK.

The Government’s consultation period is due to finish in November, marking the first stage in a wider plan to tackle the issues surrounding the leasehold market.