The total estimated number of residential property transactions last year was just 874,385 – fewer than the 1.2m annual sales regularly reported in recent years, well below the 2m transactions a year that were a feature of the housing market in the 1980s, and in line with the figures during the years of the crash, 2007 and 2013.
A year-on-year decline in both transactions and average house prices in London dragged down the rest of England and Wales, new figures suggest. Transactions in the capital dropped 3% in 2017, according to the LSL Property Services/Acadata House Price Index, contributing to an overall fall in England and Wales of 5.3%.
While LSL claims that last year’s transactions were the lowest since 2013, its figure is slightly up on the previous year according to Lloyds Bank, which says that in 2016, transactions were just 848,857.
However, both the LSL and Lloyds figures are at significant odds with what HMRC has reported. In 2016, it reported a total of almost 1.3m transactions in England, Scotland and Wales, while the HMRC figures for last year’s transactions are not due out until the last week of January.