Property sales hit annual high, says HMRC

Houses in Bristol
Image caption Property sales remain at a relatively low level compared with the boom years

Home sales hit their highest monthly level of the year so far in November, figures from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have shown.

There were 85,000 property sales during the month, up from 79,000 in October, it said.

However, despite the apparent pick-up in transactions, the number of sales in the first 11 months of the year was lower than the same period in 2010.

The property market has been subdued for some time.

Since 2007 sales have been weighed down by the continued rationing of mortgages and the initial reluctance of sellers to drop their asking prices.

There have also been concerns among potential buyers about the state of the economy and the outlook for their jobs.

The HMRC figures show that there were 9,000 more property sales in November, compared with the same month the previous year. The monthly total was the highest since July 2010.

However, in the first 11 months of 2011, there were 787,000 sales compared with 810,000 in the same period of 2010.

Figures published earlier this month by the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) showed that mortgage lending has been squeezed during this autumn.

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