Property transactions slide again, but are the public to blame for not taking agent pricing advice?

New Land Registry data shows an increasing decline in transactions.

The most up to date sales figures from the Land Registry show that property transactions completed in the UK last November fell by 11.3% to 82,398 when compared with November 2016.

This is up from the 8.5% decline registered annually for last October.

All parts of the UK experienced a decline. Sales in England were down 13% to 64,454, while Northern Ireland activity fell 8.8% o 5,501. In Wales, transactions slid 5.2% to 3,871 while Scotland saw a 1.9% fall to 8,572.

London saw the biggest regional decline, with sales down 24.6% to 6,165.

Lee Pendleton, director at independent London estate agents James Pendleton, said: “Transaction levels are plummeting and it’s obvious why this is happening alongside robustly high valuations.

“The property market, particularly in London, is being hobbled by time-wasters who refuse to accept good advice.

“These sellers have no realistic prospect of finding a buyer because their expectations are so out of this world. They have done very well out of the housing market but they haven’t earned that money, they’ve just lived in those homes and watched the magic money tree grow. Now they think prices can only go up.

“The result is that transactions levels drop, the speed of chains slows down and life is made more difficult for everyone involved. No one wins.

“The resulting affordability problem means the cheaper end of the market can’t keep up with people’s unrealistic expectations and estate agents wind up wasting hundreds of thousands of pounds a year marketing property that won’t sell.

“We are in the business of selling homes, not beauty parading them in the faint hope of bagging a wild sales figure that defies the market. This is how you get the rounded topping out of prices that we’re seeing in this data, driven solely by low supply.”

The Land Registry data also showed house price growth has slowed from 5% to 4.9% between December and January, leaving average prices at £225,621 for the start of this year.


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  1. WizKid

    Don’t blame the vendors, blame the agents and onliners who are taking these intructions at stupid prices, wasting everyones time and raising the already unrealistic expectations of the vendors.

    Tough love is what’s needed.

    1. P-Daddy

      Agree with WizKid. Agents are trying to ‘buy’ stock and so called intelligent clients are having their egos fanned and are in essence pre spending what they think is their new worth/riches! That’s why when the conversation is had about reducing the price, it falls on deaf ears, especially as many hide behind the spectre of Brexit and stamp duty i.e. its nothing to do with my price, the market is bad and my agent isn’t doing the correct marketing…they haven’t had any viewings after 3 months’ 🙂  Lee Pendleton makes some fair points although his comment about robust high valuations isn’t the case…they aren’t being achieved so are likely to fall and are therefore not robust, just over inflated. I would like to see more up to date Land Registry data as we are now near the end of March not November…even allowing for a little data lag.

  2. JMoo31

    What utter rubbish! Agents in their usual unprofessional scrum to try and acquire sellers, talk badly about each other and blow smoke up the clients backside by saying they could sell your house for much more than the other agents, then once you’ve been on the market for a week or so, announce it’s way to expensive and you need to reduce the price as no one is interested. To say this is driven by the vendor is laughable and is also not the reason house prices are plummeting. Stamp duty rises and particularly those for landlords coupled with S24 (landlords being taxed on fictitious profit by Osborne now Hammond) is driving landlords from the rental market. The destruction these decisions will have on the housing market is only just starting to bite as S24 (see Dr Rosalind Becks excellent paper ref property 118) accelerates to 100% of mortgage interest payments being taxable by 2020. No only will the landlords not buy new builds which supports house building they have stopped converting the unwanted properties UK wide into much needed accommodation due to this pernicious assault on them. The unspoken other consequence of devestarion to occupiers of landlords homes is that they are being evicted in their 1000,s as landlords are forced to flee this tax assault to make way allegedly for first time buyers. Are we seeing the start of social cleansing in the UK due to the governments the press, local authorities and charities such as shelter,s vicious hate campaign against the Private Rented Sector?

    Are first time buyers to be given the right over a family who is currently renting a home in the U.K.?

    So much for common sense, fairness and human rights!

  3. Deltic2130

    Well said JMoo. Housebuilding volumes now falling thanks to S24 and investors pulling out – just as the campaign against it predicted. Sales volumes are bound to fall with investor activity being so severely curtailed. Govt’s own fault – they wanted this – nay, INSISTED on it – so they can deal with the consequences.

  4. surrey1

    The problem I seem to face is it’s becoming the majority not the minority doing it. Last year I valued a house at £1.25m possibly ask £1.295m with an armful of comps waved under his nose. I was the lowest of 10 valuations (10! I kid you not), the highest being £1.75m. Seller settled in the middle as he didn’t want to be led by over valuations and appeared sensible, “The average of 10 can’t be wrong”, he said. When it (finally) sold at £1.22m someone who gave him rubbish advice and wasted a lot of his time still got paid, righteousness sadly not paying my bills. One of many I could point to and I can’t see it changing sadly.


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