HMRC: Northern Ireland home sales fell for third month running during June

The keys for an estimated 2,300 residential properties changed hands here last month.

THE number of houses sold in Northern Ireland fell for the third month running in June, according to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) figures.

The keys for an estimated 2,300 residential properties changed hands here last month, 41 per cent down on the 3,900 sales from June 2021.

However, HMRC said the figures should be treated with caution as transactions in June 2021 were significantly affected by the stamp duty holiday, which ended last year.

The 3,900 homes sold during June 2021 made it the busiest month for the north's housing market since June 2007. It was later surpassed by September 2021, when 3,970 houses were sold ahead of the end of the extended deadline for the stamp duty holiday.

HMRC said there were large sales peaks in March, June and September 2021, caused by temporarily increased "nil rate" bands of property taxes in both Northern Ireland and England.

The provisional estimate for the housing market in June 2022 is on par with the 2,290 sold in June 2019.

But the HMRC data shows sales have fallen on a monthly basis since March this year.

It reflects last week's survey across the property profession in Northern Ireland, which pointed to demand cooling.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) said interest from potential buyers had slipped for the third month in a row in June, with some respondents citing a lack of available properties for buyers to choose from.

The continuing upward trend in house prices suggests supply remains a key factor in the market, but consumer confidence in the north has also taken a knock due to the cost-of-living crisis.

HMRC's latest house sale figures show 6,960 residential properties were here sold in second quarter of 2022, 23 per cent down on the same period last year, but three per cent up on the second quarter of 2019.

The figures also revealed the 32,470 residential properties sold in the 12 months to July 2022 was the highest rolling annual total since 2006/07.

Meanwhile, HMRC estimates non-residential property sales fell again last month, with 270 transactions recorded.

That represented a 20 per cent drop on June 2021, but on par with pre-pandemic activity from 2019.

Andrew Montlake, managing director of mortgage broker Coreco, said: "Transactions are down significantly compared to June 2021 as last year's data was skewed by the stamp duty holiday.

"The slowdown in transactions compared to May this year is likely to be a sign of things to come as people become increasingly cautious as rates rise and the cost-of-living crisis bites.

"However, for now at least, the jobs market remains strong and that will ensure transactions don't go off a cliff."