The latest official figures show that residential property sales fell 3.2% in July compared with the same month in 2017, as the period of reduced activity continues.
Just 99,270 residential transactions occurred between just and july – a decrease of 0.8%, the data from HMRC reveals.
However, there was an increase in the number of non-residential transactions, with the figures showing that 10,960 took place during the same period – up 8.1% month on month and up 0.5% compared with July last year.
According to Kevin Roberts, director of the Legal & General Mortgage Club, the figures confirm that government schemes such as Help to Buy and Shared Ownership, as well as increased innovation in the industry overall, are currently doing little to stimulate the market.
‘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 are further proof of the challenges facing the current housing market, as the well documented issues surrounding supply and demand are not being resolved efficiently enough.
‘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.