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Property sales soared in April

Christina Hoghton
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Christina Hoghton

Sales of homes are up enormously as the housing boom continues, but can it last?

The number of UK residential transactions in April 2021 was 117,860, a staggering 179.5% higher than April 2020, according to HM Revenue & Customs.

Of course the property market was under lockdown a year ago so the mammoth rise in sales is partly down to that. But last month was still the biggest April for property sales since before the financial crisis in April 2007.

In fact, by the end of the 2020/21 financial year, sales overtook the previous financial year, despite the pandemic. It was the fourth busiest year of the past decade.

However sales were down by 35% compared to the spike in March, when buyers rushed to beat the original stamp duty holiday deadline.

Sarah Coles, personal finance analyst, Hargreaves Lansdown, explained: “We’ve dropped from the vertiginous peak of property sales in March, but rolled onto more gentle slopes rather than falling off a cliff. This is still the biggest April for property sales since the financial crisis.

“We need to take the massive annual rise with a pinch of salt, because back in April, we were in the depths of the first lockdown, and we saw the lowest level of sales of any April since records began. However, overall sales are ahead of those in the previous financial year.”

John Eastgate, managing director of property finance at Shawbrook Bank, added: “The long term prognosis for housing remains positive. Opportunities are still out there for buyers and investors that have capital available and are keen to move.

“City centres that seem to have fallen out of favour in recent months still show promise as we head back to the office and return to a level of normality.”