Business

Autumn home sales sluggish in UK

Houses

Sales of homes in the UK remained sluggish in the autumn, compared with the same period last year, HM Revenue and Customs figures show.

Experts have pointed to a lack of homes on the market failing to match demand as a key factor affecting prices and the sector.

A total of 100,300 properties were sold in the UK in October, a 16% fall on the same month a year earlier.

The number of sales has been relatively static each month since June.

One property commentator said the UK-wide figures masked a varying picture across the country.

"While the market in Birmingham is red hot at present the central London market is cooling and I expect this will ripple outwards, up the M1 over the coming months," said buying agent Henry Pryor.

Stamp duty changes - including a higher rates for houses of more than £1m and a 3% surcharge faced by buy-to-let landlords - have dampened the market in London to some degree.

Mortgage lender the Halifax recently said that the lack of homes being sold was contributing to house price growth remaining "robust" at 5.2% in October.

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