Just Mortgages comment on this morning’s HMRC Housing Transaction stats

It’s important to recognise that a year-on-year comparison is still something of an anomaly due to the stamp duty holidays creating transaction peaks so it’s more telling to recognise that transactions levels are largely the same as pre-covid.

Despite the housing market being in the grip of what many will consider the perfect storm of high inflation, rising rates and housing budgets stretched with the cost-of-living crisis the mortgage market once again showed its resilience. UK average house prices increased by 13.6% over the year to August 2022 and this latest data shows that housing transactions maintained the same levels as the previous month.

Housing stock is still outstripping demand and the housing sector had a shot in the arm with favourable changes to stamp duty so although customers may be paying higher mortgage rates than they are used to, the appetite to borrow is still there.

However, what continues to be concerning is extended completion times that are around 22 weeks. This creates a significant window of opportunity for housing chains to break and mortgage offers to expire which creates stress for borrowers and makes the provision of professional mortgage advice more important than ever.

John Phillips, national operations director at Just Mortgages