[ad_1]

The number of home sales in October was 21% lower than the same month last year, according to figures from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

Higher interest rates are continuing to hold back hopeful buyers, but there is hope on the horizon with mortgage rates inching lower, housing experts have said.

Across the UK, an estimated 82,910 house sales took place in October, which was also 3% lower than September.

In the financial year so far, April to October, an estimated 589,470 home sales have taken place.

It’s easy to suggest that a slowdown of any extent is bad news for the market, but the minimal month-on-month fall amidst a backdrop of stubborn inflation and high mortgage rates is a ringing endorsement for the resilience of the property market and buyer and lender confidence

Nick Leeming, chairman of Jackson-Stops

It marks the lowest number of transactions at this point in the year since 2020, during the pandemic.

Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, said: “Transaction numbers have slipped again in the face of higher interest rates and the cost of living, as borrowers reassess what they can afford to pay.

“Encouragingly, the direction of travel for new mortgage rates is downwards, with fixed rates looking increasingly attractive.

“However, borrowers do have to accept that they will pay considerably more now than in the heady days of sub-1% mortgages.”

Must Read  Toyota, a Hybrid Pioneer, Struggles to Master Electric Vehicles

Bank of England policymakers decided earlier this month to hold UK interest rates at 5.25%.

Rates have gone up by five percentage points since the end of 2021, meaning borrowing costs are much higher than in recent years.

But the pause in rate hikes has led mortgage costs to ease slightly, with the average two-year fixed residential mortgage standing at 6.05% on Thursday, according to data from Moneyfacts.

Despite challenging market conditions there hasn’t been a drastic fall-off in transactions, which are regarded as a more useful indicator of the health of the housing market than property prices

Jason Tebb, OnTheMarket.com

Some property experts pointed out that the small month-on-month decline in property transactions indicates that buyers are proving to be resilient despite grappling with much higher borrowing costs.

Nick Leeming, chairman of estate agency Jackson-Stops, said: “It’s easy to suggest that a slowdown of any extent is bad news for the market, but the minimal month-on-month fall amidst a backdrop of stubborn inflation and high mortgage rates is a ringing endorsement for the resilience of the property market and buyer and lender confidence.

“Our national network of agents tells us that transaction numbers and buyer appetite is heavily driven by location and local supply, in which competition for well-connected, prime properties is continuing to hold house prices firm.”

Jason Tebb, chief executive of property portal OnTheMarket.com, said: “Despite challenging market conditions there hasn’t been a drastic fall-off in transactions, which are regarded as a more useful indicator of the health of the housing market than property prices.

Must Read  LinkedIn Cuts 668 Jobs in Second Layoff Round This Year

“Numerous interest rate rises have inevitably impacted activity, heightening borrower concerns around affordability.

“However, the pause in increases, raising hopes that base rate may have peaked, is supporting buyer confidence.”

[ad_2]