Residential property transactions rose 1.4 per cent in March, making them a healthy 6.8 per cent higher than in March 2018.
Data from HM Revenue and Customs shows that on a non-seasonally adjusted basis, residential transactions in March were some 0.4 per cent higher than a year ago.
"Transaction numbers are a better guide to property market health than prices … These figures show a more resilient picture than might have been expected … Where buyers perceive real value and sellers show a degree of realism in the face of relatively few offers, there is a coming to terms with new market realities” explains former RICS residential chairman and north London estate agent Jeremy Leaf.Ad
"Looking forward, we don’t anticipate much change and certainly not until the Brexit position becomes clearer. Although we do sense pent-up demand has not been released and many are itching to get into the market once a clearer picture emerges” he adds.
Meanwhile Mike Scott, chief property analyst at online estate agency Yopa, adds: “The first quarter has been remarkably consistent with the previous five years, showing that activity in the housing market has not been dented by the current political and economic uncertainty.
“People are clearly getting on with their lives and moving house, helped by the strong economic fundamentals of low unemployment, low interest rates and good availability of mortgages. We expect that the total number of homes bought and sold in the UK in 2019 will be the same as in each of 2014 to 2018, around 1.2m."
And Paul Smith, chief executive of Haart, adds: "The market continues to hold steady through the Brexit storm, and activity is starting to creep up on the year. Although transactions remain relatively flat across most of the country, areas such as Derbyshire, Cambridgeshire, and pockets of the North West are bucking the trend, and are experiencing growth in sales activity on the year. Latest data from our branches reveals that new buyer registrations, viewings and instructions are all up by more than 10 per cent on the month."