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Transactions hit a two-year low across England and Wales – and in London, sales dwindle to a nine-year low

sancho panza

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sancho panza


'Property transactions in England and Wales have hit their lowest level since the additional Stamp Duty charges were introduced in April 2016, London Central Portfolio (LCP) claims.

The property investment firm, which launched its own residential index based on Land Registry figures in March, said that while house price changes have become less volatile, transactions are slipping.

The number of transactions in England and Wales slipped 12.6% on a quarterly basis to 193,118 during April.

New-builds have had a tough time, with transactions falling 18% over the quarter to 105,248,  LCP said.

But the situation was worse in prime central London where LCP warned that sales were down 7.6% in the first quarter of 2018 to just 951, just above the historic lows of the 2009 financial crisis.

Overall, the index found average prices in April, excluding new-build, across England and Wales fell 0.3% over the month and 0.2% on a quarterly basis to £285,082, but this was an improvement on the falls of 2% being recorded at the end of 2017.

The average prices for new-builds was recorded at £341,409, up 0.2% on a quarterly basis and 5.1% annually.

PCL saw a 2.9% drop in average prices on a monthly basis to £1.84m in April, which is not as deep as the 4.9% decline in March. Prices were down 4.3% on a quarterly basis, though, from a 6.2% increase in March.

Naomi Heaton, chief executive of LCP, said: “Spring has traditionally been a period of increased activity across the sales market. However, it appears that buyers and sellers are still sitting on the fence.

“With the multitude of taxes that residential property has been hit with in the past six years, coupled with the uncertainty around Brexit, confidence in the market appears to be disappearing quickly. The Government is going to need to find some way of reassuring the nation soon.”'

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I speed-read the headline as "sales swindle", still appropriate however. 

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