Housing transactions rise in month following referendum, says HMRC . . .

The number of residential property transactions rose in July, HMRC has reported.

The number of UK transactions increased from 103,450 in June to 104,200 in July.

The headline figures preferred by HMRC are the “seasonally adjusted” ones rather than the “actuals”.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, transactions fell by 0.9% in July, down from 95,430 to 94,550.

Comment from analysts filling our in tray has so far focused on this supposed fall, and EYE wouldn’t mind betting that today’s media coverage follow suit. In fact, transactions not only rose but those figures will have reflected deals done months earlier – and in a lot of cases, many months earlier.

Worth noting, though, is that both sets of figures are well down on July transaction volumes of July last year – 120,610 (unadjusted) and 103,080 (adjusted) – before Brexit was much of a twinkle in the eye of politicians who are now enjoying more time with their families.

The latest HMRC transaction figures also underline what a very peculiar year this has been in the housing market.

Transactions surged strongly in March (171,370 unadjusted and 179,050 adjusted), only to collapse the following month (73,430 unadjusted, and 80,090 adjusted).

Honestly, though, isn’t it time that economists ditched their “seasonally adjusted” nonsense, and just gave us the actual, massage-free figures instead?

You wouldn’t get away with “seasonally adjusted” reporting figures in your company’s accounts to the taxman – so how can HMRC itself gets away with it is beyond us.

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One Comment

  1. Mark Connelly

    I will declare a seasonally adjusted salary this month because I am on holiday

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