There were 190,980 residential property transactions in March, a rise of 102.3% on the same time last year, according to seasonally-adjusted estimates
The number of residential property sales registered in March was 32.2% higher than the previous month as buyers tried to beat the expected end of the stamp duty holiday, figures from HM Revenue & Customs reveal.
The total for March was also double the figure for the same month last year, during which the UK entered its first lockdown.
According to the official seasonally-adjusted estimates, there were 190,980 residential property transactions in March, a rise of 102.3% on the same time last year.
There were 12,530 non residential sales in March, which was 53% higher than a year earlier and 24.5% higher than February 2021.
On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, there were 180,960 residential sales, which was 107.9% higher than a year ago and 49.6% higher than February.
Coventry head of intermediary relationships Jonathan Stinton says: These figures show that it’s still full steam ahead for brokers and the property market. It’s clear that the extension of the stamp duty holiday has added fuel to keep the train moving in March, and it’s on track for a great April too with plenty of demand across the board.
Phoebus Software sales and marketing director Richard Pike says: Looking at the March figures from HMRC this morning we can see how the first lockdown in March 2020 was already affecting the housing market. Even as we prepared for the original end to the stamp duty holiday this year the non-seasonally adjusted estimate is more than double that in March last year.
It’s quite a staggering statistic and the disparity is set to continue. It is definitely a case of comparing apples with oranges. In fact, when comparing 2021 transactions to 2020, the divide is only going to get wider in the coming months, he says.
So perhaps we should be looking forward instead. With the Mortgage Guarantee Scheme now up and running and lenders committing to 95% mortgages, we will see the first-time buyer market grow. However, lenders still see these small deposit mortgages as more risky and the interest rates being quoted reflect this, Pike says.
More2life chief executive Dave Harris says: Today’s findings demonstrate the resilience of the UK housing market. Some of the activity in March will no doubt have been fuelled by the ‘race for space’ as homebuyers increasingly prioritise home offices and gardens over the convenience of access to the city centre, but the chancellor’s extension of the stamp duty holiday will have fuelled buyer appetite as well.
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