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December home sales figures show sharp monthly rise

Christina Hoghton
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Christina Hoghton

Property transactions saw a double digit rise in the final month of 2021, but they were still lower than a year earlier

UK residential transactions have increased for the second month in a row, according to figures from HM Revenue & Customs.

It said that sales rose 11.8% between November and December with 113,470 transactions in the last month of 2021.

However, the figures were down annually – 14.6% lower than in December 2020.

Iain McKenzie, CEO of The Guild of Property Professionals, said: “The rush to complete sales before Christmas is reflected in today’s figures, with transactions up almost 12% on November.

“The spectre of rising rates didn’t deter people who were set on moving into their own home before the end of the year.

“While transactions were up in December, the annual change shows that sales are down compared to the tail end of 2020. A shortage of properties, coupled with the removal of government incentives to buy, has calmed the ferocious growth of the market.”

Sarah Coles, senior personal finance analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, added: “Property sales continued to bounce back in December, but there’s every chance this is a temporary blip. Over the previous two months, sales have been recovering from the lows of October, climbing slightly above the kind of levels we usually see in December.

“However, the lag in these figures means they reflect sentiment before talk of rate rises started in earnest, so this bounce isn’t guaranteed to take off.”