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House sales dip in April

The number of house sales taking place across the UK dipped in April, according to figures from HM Revenue and Customs (Anthony Devlin/PA)
The number of house sales taking place across the UK dipped in April, according to figures from HM Revenue and Customs (Anthony Devlin/PA)

The number of house sales taking place across the UK dipped in April, according to figures from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

Some 106,780 transactions took place last month, which was 3.9% down compared with March.

The total was also 12.1% lower than in April 2021.

Jason Tebb, chief executive of property search website OnTheMarket.com, said: “With transaction levels lower in April than in March and down on the same period last year, it’s clear the frenetic pace of the housing market has subsided, yet the ‘new normal’ housing market, an elevated version of the pre-pandemic market, continues to show resilience.”

Jeremy Leaf, a north London estate agent and a former residential chairman of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics), said that, with available stock levels having shrunk: “It’s no surprise transaction numbers have started to fall as demand cannot be satisfied.

“Although activity has held up remarkably well despite successive increases in interest rates and inflation, on the ground we are starting to see the cost-of-living crisis prompting at least an uplift in market appraisals, if not listings, in sufficient numbers to keep up.”

Chris Hutchinson, chief executive of rental platform Canopy, said: “As inflation rates are expected to hit double figures later this year, mortgage prices will continue to increase and push potential first-time buyers out of the market.”

Lucian Cook, head of residential research at Savills, said: “Though these figures are yet to reflect the impact of the squeeze on household finances and increases in interest rates, they show people’s reassessment of what they want from a home has continued to support housing market activity, even though the experience of lockdown has begun to fade into our memories.

“The pool of unmet demand among more affluent home-buyers, who are more insulated from the macro-economic backdrop than the average household, points to a slowing in the market rather than anything more dramatic, especially given the lack of stock available to buy.”

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