UK house sales highest for 18 months, says HMRC


More homes were sold in the UK in August than in any month since February last year, figures show

Sold signsImage copyright PA

The seasonally-adjusted data from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) show that 106,480 homes were sold during the month.

It is the third month in a row that sales of more than 100,000 were recorded.

The total is still well below monthly sales of nearly 150,000 seen during the housing boom in 2006.

House prices

The latest official figures showed that UK house prices rose by 5.2% in the year to the end of July. This is well above the level of prices in general, with CPI inflation standing at zero in August.

“Despite rising prices, buyers and sellers are able to transact,” said housing commentator Henry Pryor.

“Look out for the increasing impact of cash buyers in the months to come.

“Figures from mortgage lenders suggest that around 40% of all homes today are bought without a mortgage leaving the government unable to dampen house prices as they once did – by raising rates.

“As we saw last December, the chancellor now reaches for other levers to control the excesses of the market. He had almost snuffed out the top end of the market with huge changes made to Stamp Duty Land Tax, making buying the most expensive homes very unattractive.”

Peter Rollings, chief executive of Marsh & Parsons estate agents, suggested that rising demand matched with a lack of supply would result in house prices continuing to increase, particularly in London.

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