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UK Property Sales Rise Heading into Spring – HMRC

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    Spring Bounce Expected to Bring Surge in Property Sales

    The property market gears up for a bustling spring as recent figures unveil a promising uptick in property sales.

    HMRC data reveals a slight increase in transactions despite a year-on-year decline. Yet, with a consecutive monthly rise and favourable economic indicators, experts forecast a bumper spring for the housing market.

    Anticipation of a Bank of England base rate cut and declining inflation set the stage for a rebound. As inquiries and listings rise, experts foresee a robust sales pipeline, hinting at a promising few months ahead.

    Read on to see what this means for buy-to-let property investment in more detail.

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      How Many Sales Were There in February 2024?

      Real estate agents anticipate a bustling spring market as official figures reveal a slight uptick in property sales in recent months.

      According to HMRC property transaction data for February, there were 82,940 recorded sales on a seasonally adjusted basis. This represents a 6% decrease from February 2023 but a 1% increase from January 2024.

      On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, HMRC reported 73,360 sales for February, marking a 3% decline compared to the previous year but a 9% increase from the beginning of the year.

      This marks the second consecutive monthly increase.

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      What Does This Mean Heading Into Spring?

      Recent drops in inflation and the anticipation of a base rate cut by the Bank of England in May are setting the stage for a spring rebound despite the figures indicating stability.

      Nick Leemings, chairman of Jackson-Stops, reports a 17% increase in home movers compared to last year within their national network, suggesting a potential surge in the coming months. The resurgence of mortgage rates below 4% and a notable rise in housing supply offer buyers more options, with affordability expected to improve further as the year progresses.

      Leemings noted that these figures mark the final phase of market activity, indicating a sustained trend of buoyancy. According to his analysis, the current surge in buyer interest aligns with broader market strength as spring unfolds, offering a positive outlook for the market in a year dominated by a general election, where resilience and stability are crucial.

      Furthermore, Leemings pointed out a positive trend of increased inquiries and new listings across the Jackson-Stops network, which, if converted, will contribute to a robust sales pipeline in the spring and summer months. While it may be premature to declare 2024 a more decisive market year than 2023, the early signs are potentially promising.

      Elsewhere, Nathan Emerson of Propertymark said: “Spring and summer are traditionally the strongest times for people to sell their homes, so we are likely to see a further uptake, making it easier to complete a transaction over the coming months.

      “Propertymark’s own Housing Insight Report more recently showed a 129% increase in the number of market appraisals undertaken, showing the growing desire from buyers and sellers to get moving once again.”

      Dive into our buy-to-let area guides for even more housing market insights:

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      Dale Barham

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      Dale is a property content writer at RWinvest. Keeping a close eye on the UK property market, Dale helps our readers stay informed and up to date on the latest market news and statistics.