Residential property sales and mortgage lending both soar

Posted: 30/4/2016

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There were 165,480 residential property transactions in March, HMRC has said.

The ‘seasonally adjusted’ figure was 41.5% up on February, and 69.7% higher than March last year.

On a non-adjusted basis, there were 161,990 transactions in March, up from 92,690 in February – a rise of 74.8%, and 77.1% higher than March last year.

HMRC said the large increase in transaction was “likely” to be associated with the introduction of the Stamp Duty surcharge on second properties, introduced on April 1.

Separately, the Council of Mortgage Lenders reported that gross mortgage lending leapt 43% in March compared with February, and 59% compared with March 2015.

CML economist Mohammad Jamei said: “Against a backdrop of a recovering market, the substantial jump in lending in March was significantly influenced by a late surge of activity to beat the Government’s Stamp Duty change on second properties, which came into effect at the start of April.

“The distortion caused by this Stamp Duty change appears to be larger than any previous Stamp Duty change we’ve seen.

“As a result, we expect there will be about 10,000 fewer mortgaged transactions each month in the second quarter of 2016 than would otherwise have been the case, offsetting the increase in activity seen in March.”

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