CrowdProperty’s chief executive Mike Bristow has predicted a surge of activity in the UK’s property market, ahead of the end of the stamp duty holiday.
This follows the release of new data from HMRC which revealed that there were 105,630 residential transactions in October, up 8.1 per cent year-on-year and a 9.8 per cent rise from September.
Bristow said he was not surprised by these statistics, saying there is about a three-month lag between offers and completions so the high figure and growth for October is more reflective of offers being made in July.
He said that offers would have risen from June to July due to pent-up demand from the first lockdown. Bristow added that annually the number would also show an increase due to the historically low figures witnessed at this time last year, when the market was plagued with election and Brexit uncertainty.
He added that stamp duty has driven activity in the housing market lately and this could lead to a rise in property purchases during the rest of November and December. The stamp duty holiday currently applies to houses bought for £500,000 or less. It is due to end on 31 March 2021.
“People naturally trade up or down depending on their life stages and I think the stamp duty cut this year will have prompted many people to buy,” Bristow said.
“Before January and February – unless the government extends the stamp duty holiday – people won’t be able to take advantage of it.
“Given the backlog people will start to think whether they will get their transactions through on time. They can but it depends on their lender and solicitor and the general backlog.
“There will potentially be a bigger rush before Christmas. The volumes of offers being agreed now will probably be because of that.”
Similarly, Sam Mitchell, chief executive of online estate agent Strike, said the government’s stamp duty holiday has created a strong pipeline of activity and this could continue right up until the end of March.
“It’s shaping up to be a phenomenal end to the year for the UK property market,” Mitchell said.
“News of a vaccine has boosted confidence, and people are still rushing to benefit from the stamp duty holiday incentive – both contributing to us having a record-breaking day for offers just last Monday.
“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.”