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Agreed sales soar 38% as buyers rush to avoid Stamp Duty

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The temporary Stamp Duty holiday ends on the 31st March 2021, so buyers will need to act quickly to complete before the deadline
Agreed sales soar 38% as buyers rush to avoid Stamp Duty

New sales agreed are 38% higher than a year ago, according to Zoopla.

The property portal said there’s been a boost to demand and sales volumes since the end of lockdown, which has taken house price growth to a three-year high of 3.5%, up from 1.2% a year ago.

And it expects house price inflation to hit 4% before the end of 2020.

High value homes

It’s not just a rise in volumes that is boosting prices, but a shift in the mix of homes transacting, with more sales in wealthier demographics switching hands at higher prices.

Richard Donnell, director of research & insight at Zoopla, said“It has been a roller coaster year for the housing market which is ending on a strong note with demand and sales agreed still more than 30% higher than this time last year. House price growth has hit a three-year high and is set to increase further in the short term.

“The high volume of sales agreed this autumn will spill over as completed sales in 2021 and this will support the overall number of sales completed in 2021 at 1.1 million. It has been a remarkable turnaround and completed sales look set to fall just 6% short of last year despite a two-month closure of the market in England.”

Harry Buchanan, director of estate agent Jackson-Stops’ Pimlico and Westminster branch, said the figures reflected his experience on the ground: “This has undeniably been one our busiest run ups to Christmas on record. Whilst there is usually a rush of buyers wanting to be within their new homes to celebrate the holidays with friends and family, there is now an added pressure this year due to the looming Stamp Duty Land Tax deadline in March 2021.

“This has created a real surge in sales agreed this quarter. With just six weeks left of 2020, and considering the market’s closure for two months earlier this year, it is incredible to see that our sales figures are already neck and neck with our busiest Q4 on record.”

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