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UK residential transactions in November this year were 114,200, which is 12% higher than last year and 4% higher than October 2022, according to HMRC data released today. 

Frances McDonald, research analyst at Savills, said the figures were “surprisingly strong”, given recent economic turmoil and mortgage rate hikes

She said it was “in part reflecting the urgency of buyers to lock into mortgage deals agreed before the rate rises of the past three months”.

However, HMRC pointed out the mortgage rates and subsequent impacts would have little impact on these statistics yet because the data is based on completions. These figures, therefore, likely related to house sales that started typically two to four months before.   

McDonald predicted these figures would drop next year with higher mortgage rates and limited availability. 

“Lead indicators from the RICS, Bank of England and mains listings agencies, suggest a somewhat lower turnover market next year due to limited mortgage product availability, along with high rates and stretched affordability,” she said. 

The Bank of England raised the base rate from 3% to 3.5% on 15 of this month. 

McDonald added: “Looking ahead to the early part of 2023, our latest buyer and seller survey suggests that needs-based buyers are likely to be the most active buyer types whilst mortgage rates remain high and affordability constraints more discretionary and lifestyle moves. But levels of commitment to moving amongst those looking to ‘right-size’ their homes, whether upsizers or downsizers, rise significantly over the next year or two.”