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Property Transactions Fall In July-uk Taxcollector

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Property transactions fall in July-UK tax collector

LONDON, Aug 22 (Reuters) - The number of property transactions in England and Wales edged down in July, Britain's tax collector said on Monday, but activity remained well above a low at the start of the year. Transactions fell to a seasonally adjusted 122,000 in July from 123,000 in June, HM Revenue and Customs said. That was down on 151,000 a year ago but above a low of 107,000 this January.

"We are seeing the same as in mortgage lending and house price figures -- a stable but subdued background," said David Page, economist at Investec, seeing modest improvement in 2005.

The tax collector's figures are widely viewed as a lagging indicator of Britain's housing market as they reflect residential stamp duty payments on purchase completion.

But economists also look at the data to assess trends in retail spending on big ticket items like dishwashers and furniture that people tend to buy for a new home.

"As a causal link it does seem to make sense that if you move house you do actually incur more costs than you would otherwise," said Investec's Page.

"But in terms of consumer spending that represents a very small percentage of consumer spend so although it will provide a marginal boost it is unlikely to underpin a significant revival in consumer spending."

The Bank of England cut interest rates for the first time in two years in August to 4.5 percent from 4.75 percent after policymakers had highlighted lacklustre household spending as a key concern for the economic outlook.

The central bank has repeatedly played down links between house prices and consumer activity but in its latest Inflation Report said "a fall in housing transactions can reduce spending on goods and services directly associated with moving house."


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  • 302 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?

      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%

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