Stamp duty holiday pushes transactions to four-year high
The number of transactions in October was also the highest number in a single month since March 2016, when 176,870 transactions were completed.
On a monthly basis, this was 9.8% higher than the 96,180 transactions in September.
Following the shutdown of the property market earlier this year, residential transactions in April and May declined by around 50% compared to last year.
Transactions increased gradually each month since, jumping from 48,690 in May to 62,380 in June, which HMRC said reflected the easing of Covid-related restrictions and the introduction of the stamp duty holiday.
‘Growth is breathtaking’
Joshua Elash, director of MT Finance, said: “The continued growth in volume of residential transactions is breathtaking.
“October’s data no longer merely reflects pent-up demand but points directly to the impact of the stamp duty concession. It looks and feels as though there is a rush to take advantage of this opportunity, which is driving continued growth in transactional volumes.”
Sam Mitchell, CEO of online estate agent Strike, added: “Although people are starting to question how the market will keep going when pent-up demand ends, we mustn’t forget that the market has shown its resilience time and time again — and things aren’t just going to grind to a halt.
“The government has proven that it is committed to keeping the UK housing market prosperous this year and that’s likely to remain a key focus for 2021, whether that be dialling up their focus on first-time buyers or extending the stamp duty holiday.”