The Month in Numbers – June 2012

It looks like the Office for National Statistics numbers produced every month are set to take over from the Land Registry as the ‘official’ barometer of the health of the housing market and although the Land Registry will continue to publish their numbers (and the important transaction volumes) we must start to monitor what the ONS beavers produce.

So we now have numbers for June from Land Registry, Halifax and Rightmove, the ONS ‘poll of polls’ (which used to be the CLG index) for May and we have transaction volumes for April from Land Registry although I use the total UK number produced by HMRC for the supply & demand calculations.

Remember, the Budget was on 21st March and measures taken to deal with Stamp Duty Land Tax avoidance by individuals at the top end of the market had an immediate and devastating effect. Over night sales of properties over £2m slowed to a trickle as the latest Land Register numbers confirm. Overall transaction volumes fell by 19% but the sale of homes over £2m fell by 40% to just 114 across the whole of England & Wales.

Otherwise, asking prices slipped as vendors finally seemed to understand the direction of prices. Sale prices remained surprisingly buoyant but it remains to be seen if the summer and the Olympic effect can keep these levels up. If buyers find it harder to borrow or slightly more sellers find that the have to sell then prices could slip quickly.

Put your home on the market today and you have an 8% chance of selling in the first month and a 40% chance if you leave it on for a year. Still only about a third of all homes actually sell so if you are serious, remember the three ‘P’s’ – Price, Presentation and Promotion. You need to get all three right to be confident of a good sale and a move to your next home.

The most expensive sale included in the latest release of data from Land Registry was a flat in Arlington Street in Sw1 – sold for £13.5m. The cheapest another flat, this time 2a Blenheim Rd, Newport for £7,500.

(This data covers the transactions received at land Registry in the period 1st June 2012 to 30th June 2012. © Crown copyright 2012. If you think there is an error then address it to HM Land Registry here.)