Search Acumen comments on the HMRC’s property transactions data for June 2023

28th July 2023

Andy Sommerville , Director at Search Acumen, the property data and insight provider, comments:

“The increase in transaction volumes this month are positive to see, but come from a low base and are indicative of the stagnation grappling the UK economy. The data tells us that total residential property sales so far this year are down by 20% compared to 2022, whilst commercial transactions are down 8% [see tables below]. To give that more context, the average monthly volume of property transactions in the second half of last year came in at 110,000, whilst this year that figure is averaging at 80,460 (or 102,673 vs 86,285 on a seasonally adjusted basis).

 “There is no doubt the housing market is slowing down from a frenzied pace post-pandemic, however if the current trend continues, this will impact all economies related to the built environment which is no good for anyone. The government, banks and lenders, all need to work together to support the stability of the market to benefit the entire UK economy.

 “The market is up against some tough challenges: both investor and consumer confidence continue to be hampered by rising debt thanks to high interest rates and persistent inflation. Though we still foresee tough times ahead for those reliant on more affordable mortgage rates, more generally speaking, the resilience of the commercial transaction market is helping to steady ship, with many hoping we’ve now reached the bottom.

 “This down period, before hopefully a slow building recovery over the next few years, is a fantastic time to consider the improvements that can be made to the property sector. It is time for all players in the transaction journey to realise the impact that a digital-first approach to processes could have on the industry as a whole – saving time and making efficiencies that help all parties involved. For buyers and sellers, faster transactions lessen the risk of fall-throughs and collapsing chains. For lawyers, using technology-driven tools will enable them to service clients faster, meet their widening needs and expectations, whilst ready to take on more clients as market activity picks up.”  

Table 1: Seasonally adjusted residential transactional volumes 2023 vs 2022


2023 (seasonally adjusted transaction volumes) 2022 (seasonally adjusted transaction volumes) % change
January 92,880 106,580 -13%
February 87,680 109,670 -20%
March 89,040 109,960 -19%
April 82,220 109,400 -25%
May 80,020 109,620 -27%
June 85,870 103,200 -17%
Total 431,840 545,230 -21%


Table 2: Seasonally adjusted non-residential transactional volumes 2023 vs 2022

2023 (seasonally adjusted transaction volumes) 2022 (seasonally adjusted transaction volumes) % change
January 9,610 10,450 -8%
February 9,640 10,800 -11%
March 10,810 10,480 3%
April 9,470 10,720 -12%
May 9,460 11,220 -16%
June 9,670 10,050 -4%
Total 48,990 53,670 -9%


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