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UK home sales fall below 100,000

The number of UK properties sold has fallen below the 100,000 mark for the first time this year, HMRC figures show.

A total of 98,490 homes were sold in the UK last month, down 2.1 per cent from 100,560 in October. The number of property sales has not fallen below 100,000 since December 2013, when 99,320 homes were sold across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Both the housing and mortgage markets have shown signs of cooling in recent weeks, with British Bankers’ Association data published yesterday showing a 22 per cent drop in mortgage approvals last month.

A total of 36,717 mortgages were approved for house purchase in November, a 20 per cent decline from 45,594 a year earlier.

SPF Private Clients chief executive Mark Harris said the effects of tougher lending requirements brought in by the Mortgage Market Review have led to the decline in approvals.

He said: ”With the tough MMR rules now really having an impact, more borrowers are turning to unsecured borrowing as they struggle to get the mortgages they need.

“There are problems with the implementation of the MMR which need resolving. The regulator must urgently address the issue of older borrowers, for example, many of whom are now struggling to get a mortgage.

Rightmove released figures earlier this month showing a record monthly fall in property asking prices across England and Wales, which fell by £8,703 to £258,424 between November and December.


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