UK home sales highest in 18 months

Buyer demand ‘in full swing’, analysts say

UK home sales highest in 18 months

Data from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) revealed yesterday that seasonally-adjusted home sales reached 106,480 in August, the highest in 18 months and the third month in a row to see more than 100,000 sales.

The reading is also 3.1 percent higher than in July and represents a 5.7 percent increase year-on-year.

“With the spectre of higher interest rates being kept at bay, buyer demand is in full swing and summer sales have continued to blossom in August,” said Peter Rollings, chief executive officer of Marsh & Parsons. Significantly, Rollings noted that there was “a new enthusiasm and readiness to enter the [London property] market.”

“The subsequent squeeze on available property for sale in the capital should keep pushing house price growth along well into the autumn.”

Meanwhile, mortgage services provider Halifax reported that London flat prices have outperformed every other property type in every other region in the UK over the past decade, with a price increase of 67 percent since 2005.

London terraced houses are a close second with a 65 percent appreciation in value. The London-average across all types of property is 61 percent, while the UK average is 38 percent, Halifax noted.

The average UK house price reached an all-time high of £294,834, research published by online real estate agent Rightmove revealed earlier this week.

“High demand, lack of suitable supply, and increasingly stretched affordability are leading to some extremes in market forces in different sectors and parts of the country,” said Miles Shipside, director at Rightmove.

If London homes continue appreciating as they have, prices could easily reach £1 million by the end of 2020, the broker noted.

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