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Home sales up 8% over last 12 months

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The housing market mini-boom continues apace, as buyers look to complete before the end of the Stamp Duty holiday
Home sales up 8% over last 12 months

There were an estimated UK 105,630 residential transactions in October 2020, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Property sales were 8.1% higher than October 2019, and 9.8% up on last month (September 2020).

The boost to transactions has been impacted by the ‘continued release of pent up demand within the property market since March 2020’, said the ONS, alongside the impact from the temporary stamp duty holiday.

Year of ups and downs

The ONS noted that residential transaction levels had been relatively stable between October 2019 and March 2020, before plummeting 50% in April and May, as a result of the first national lockdown.

However, residential transactions have since increased each month.

Nick Leeming, chairman of estate agent, Jackson-Stops, said: “It’s hugely encouraging to see residential transactions reach a seven-month high – an increase of 8% on the same month last year. Transactions were bolstered soon after the stamp duty holiday was announced in the Summer, but now they are soaring.

“Not only is this good news for buyers and sellers, but the knock-on impact on businesses within the home-moving process, that vitally needed income during this time, is very significant, too.”

Paul Stockwell, chief commercial officer at Gatehouse Bank, added: “Deal levels have recovered from the April slump and are now higher than last year’s figures and, with data from the Bank of England showing mortgage approvals in September represented the highest levels of agreed borrowing since before the Global Financial Crisis, this trend looks likely to continue over the coming months.

“However, with the stamp duty discount deadline looming in March, sellers and buyers alike will feel the pressure to get the deal over-the-line as soon as possible, heaping pressure on the property industry as we close out the year.”

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