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Monday 01st of December 2008
September 24, 2008

Only 62,000 UK homes sold in August


by Gill Montia
Only 62,000 UK homes sold in August

HM Revenue & Customs has reported that the number of homes sold in the UK fell to 62,000 in August, a 60% year-on-year decline.

The figure sits alongside latest data from the British Bankers’ Association (BBA), which announced yesterday that mortgage approvals for house purchases fell to 21,086 in August, down 63% on August 2007 and the lowest level since BBA records began, in 1997.

Analysts are not expecting any halt to the slide in the short-term, as a shortage of mortgage funds, economic uncertainty and volatile stock markets continue their impact on the UK’s housing market.

Many potential first-time buyers and homeowners wishing to move are sitting out the turmoil until house prices stabilise.

This could take some time; the head of Nationwide Building Society, Graham Beale, recently predicted that prices could fall by as much as 25%, from their peak last autumn adding that he expects any signs of a recovery in the market may be delayed until 2010.

However, September may see a slight rise in the number house sales because August figures will have been skewed by uncertainty about stamp duty.

Having indicated in early August that changes in stamp duty may take place, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Alistair Darling, finally announced the temporary abolition of the tax on properties worth up to £175,000 on 2nd September, effective from the 3rd.

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