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Property sales in the UK continue to stagnate

Residential property sales in the UK are continuing to fall with the latest official figures showing that they fell by 3.2% in July compared with the same month in 2017. The data from HMRC shows there were 99.270 residential transactions which was down 0.8% between June and July 2018. There were also 10,960 non-residential sales, up by 8.1% month on month and up by 0.5% compared with July last year. Kevin Roberts, director of the Legal & General Mortgage Club, pointed out that the figures confirm that despite increased innovation in the property industry and assistance from Government schemes such as Help to Buy and Shared Ownership, property transactions remain stagnant. ‘A fundamental imbalance between supply and demand continues to stifle movement within the market, and until this issue is properly addressed, home owners will find it difficult to downsize or upsize into better suited properties,’ he said. ‘The lack of availability of appropriate housing at all stages of homeownership is restricting movement in the market and creating bottlenecks. It’s therefore crucial that the industry continues to take whatever steps it can to ease this block and make the UK housing market accessible for all,’ he added. Alex Depledge, chief executive officer of Resi, also believes that the figures indicate that the challenges facing the current housing market in terms of supply and demand are not being resolved. ‘It’s increasingly tough for homeowners or prospective buyers planning to get on or move up or down the ladder. A further slowdown in market activity is further evidence the issues that have plagued the housing sector are still no closer to being solved,’ he said. ‘Affordability is still a key issue which continues to lock up property chains. Those still unsure or unable to move should consider their other options. Indeed, whilst renovating or extending can at the outset seem like more hassle than it’s worth, adding space to your property can not only boost the value of the property but also provide much needed space,’ he added.

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