Property market transactions reached the highest level in 15 years during December, with the stamp duty holiday deadline fast approaching.
The figures were published by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) and showed that there were 137,200 sales in December – a 14 per cent rise on November 2020, and a 34.2 per cent rise year-on-year.
Transactions in 2020 fell by 11 per cent overall, largely because of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and the property market shutting down in Spring 2020.
However, experts have pointed to how well the market has recovered since the first lockdown, with the stamp duty holiday, which was introduced in July 2020, having a positive impact.
The stamp duty holiday has temporarily raised the threshold at which buyers begin to pay stamp duty on property transactions from £125,000 to £500,000, which experts have stated is a contributing factor towards house prices reaching a six-year high.
Some experts are now calling for an extension to the stamp duty holiday, which is set to end on 31 March 2021, with England now in national lockdown once again.
Recent figures from mortgage lending indexes indicate that that mortgage availability is set to increase over the next three months in tandem with a drop in the overall cost of mortgages.
Separate research from Halifax has also found that first-time buyer transactions increased significantly in the second half of the year, bouncing back to increase by 52 per cent on the first half of the year’s figures.