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Transaction numbers across the UK slide 5% between March and April

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Wed 22 May 2019

Transaction numbers across the UK slide 5% between March and April

Transactions in the UK sales market dipped last month.

HMRC recorded 90,330 residential property sales for April, down 5.1% on a monthly basis.

However, the figure was up 7% compared with the same time last year.

The market in England was up 7.7% annually to 76,580 sales but fell 6% on a monthly basis.

In Wales transactions fell on both a monthly and annual basis to 3,550, declining 19% and 8.5% respectively.

In Scotland sales were up 20.9% on March and 7.6% since April 2018, to 8,150.

Sales fell 9.6% on a monthly basis in Northern Ireland and declined 5.8% annually to 2,050.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, residential property sales decreased by 0.3% between March and April, and were just 0.8% higher than April 2018 at 99,420, HMRC said.

Commenting on the figures, Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent and a former RICS residential chairman, said: “We find transactions are a much better barometer of property market health than more volatile house price data – and these figures are no exception.

“Transactions are holding up, probably better than expected, and no great change is likely one way or the other with Brexit resolution apparently kicked further into the long grass.

“However, what the numbers do mask is extended transaction times as lack of urgency and shortage of stock are the main issues affecting the market.”

HMRC’s transaction figures are consistently higher than those issued by the Land Registry.