HMRC: Property sales still subdued

Posted on July 23rd, 2011 | Categories - Financial News, House Prices

New figures from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) show that property sales rose slightly in June, but are still down on the same time last year.

According to HMRC 73,000 homes were sold in last month, an increase of 5,000 on May but still 12,000 lower than the same time last year.

So far in 2011 382,000 houses have been sold in the UK, down from 407,000 at the same time last year. To put the figures into further context the number of houses sold in the first half of 2011 is less than half the number sold in the first half of 2007, before the financial crisis struck

Since the end of the housing boom in 2007 sales have been subdued due to a combination of factors, including, the state of the economy, more restrictive lending criteria, and fear over job security.

Asking prices

One of the main issues however seem to be the asking prices put on their properties by sellers.

Right Move earlier this week said that the average asking price of a house on their website was £236,597 way above the average selling price in the UK.

Depending on which survey you look at the average selling price in the UK is £203,528 (Department of Community & Local Government), £168,205 (Nationwide) or £163,049 (Halifax).

There seems to be little sign of the housing market picking up with other recent surveys delivering a similar story. Just this week the Council of Mortgage Lenders has reported that mortgage lending in the first half of 2011 has been down on the same period in 2010.