Home sales inscribed in the Land Registry surged by 25% in May 2017, according to the latest figures from the National Institute of Statistics (INE).

Excluding subsidised housing there were 40,671 home sales inscribed in the Land Register in May, up 25% on the same month last year, and 41% compared to April. That’s the first time monthly sales have broken through the 40,000 barrier since September 2008.

Last month the news was quite different. Sales slumped an annualised 8% in April, for reasons I haven’t yet worked out for myself or seen adequately explained elsewhere.

“A slump of 8% in April comes as something of a surprise” after sales have “increased steadily almost every month for the last four years.”

As always, remember that the INE’s figures are based on sales inscribed in the Land Register, not actual sales that took place in the month. As such they lag the market by about two or three months.

Growth in May came from both resale homes (+26%) and new home sales (+10%). New home sales in April slumped by 22%, so May proved to be a big rebound. And as you can see from the following chart, the era of consistent falls in new home sales appears to be behind us.

Bear in mind that the INE figures for new home sales don’t include off-plan sales, which won’t be counted until the homes are built and delivered next year.

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