Property sales plummet: worst January in a decade

Property sales (non-seasonally adjusted) plummeted 27% in a month, to hit 77,390 in January. They’re 7% lower than a year earlier.

Non-seasonally adjusted figures show the lowest January transactions in a decade. Seasonally adjusted figures show them as last being lower in January 2015.

HMRC published monthly property sales for January: Monthly property transactions completed in the UK with value of £40,000 or above – GOV.UK (

Sarah Coles, head of personal finance, Hargreaves Lansdown said: “Property sales plummeted in January, making it the slowest start to the year in a decade. Buyers packed up and scarpered – spooked by the hike in mortgage rates in the autumn.

“We saw the slowest January in ten years, as the impact of the mini-Budget fed through into sales figures. And while there’s some lingering optimism that lower mortgages may tempt some buyers back, the heady days of the peak – where at one point we saw more than 214,000 transactions in a month – are well and truly behind us.

“This end of the year is always pretty slow, but this January, property sales moved at a glacial pace, and they’re unlikely to gain much more momentum for some time to come. The RICS Residential Market Survey has charted seven months of falling numbers of agreed sales – since June – and while the pace of the decent slowed in January, it’s still heading south.

“It is taking around three and a half months for agreed sales to translate into completed ones, so even if buyers have been buoyed by falling mortgage rates in the past few weeks, we’re not going to see any evidence of this until the spring. Even then, its going to be a far cry from the hectic flurry of sales we have grown increasingly used to.”