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Sales of homes dipped in May but market remains strong

Christina Hoghton
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Christina Hoghton

Despite the drop, property transactions were still more than double that recorded the same time last year

There were 114,940 home sales in May 2021, according to HM Revenue & Customs, down 3.9% compared to April.

However, the figure was still a whopping 138.2% higher than May 2020.

Iain McKenzie, CEO of The Guild of Property Professionals, said: “Residential sales are down slightly from the heights seen earlier in the year, but make no mistake, the property market is showing no signs of returning to humdrum normality.

“There is still a huge amount of pent-up demand from buyers, and the limited supply of housing means that prices are higher than ever.

“For many buyers, the impending end of the stamp duty holiday could leave them feeling like they’re in the last chance saloon – and it’s possible that we could see activity surge again towards the end of the summer.

“The figures should be taken with a little caution when comparing the year-on-year rise, as the country was gripped by the challenges of pandemic in May 2020, and the stamp duty holiday was yet to be announced.”

Imran Hussain, director of mortgage broker, Harmony Financial Services, added: “Unsurprisingly, the main driver of property transactions in May and the months leading up to it has been the the Stamp Duty holiday.

“Transaction levels in June and July are likely to reduce as the incentive for many has been removed but equally many people are now buying for pandemic-induced lifestyle reasons as much as the chance to save on Stamp Duty, so there will be no cliff-edge drop.”