Housing market experiences busier than usual December
A major estate agency experienced a busy December, despite activity dropping off from November.
NAEA Propertymark found there were eight sales per branch in December, the highest since 2006.
Meanwhile there were an average of 348 prospective buyers per branch, the most since December 2016.
NAEA PropertyWire attributed the busy December to the stamp duty holiday.
Despite the market being stronger than normal, the number of buyers registered per branch actually fell by 41% from 580 in November.
Meanwhile the number of sales agreed fell from 13 in November.
Mark Hayward, chief policy advisor, Propertymark, said: “The number of potential buyers in the market fell significantly in December after Novembers’ record high.
“While we would ordinarily expect to see a lull over the festive period, these numbers show that the tightening of lockdown restrictions, coupled with the reality that many individuals would no longer meet the stamp duty deadline, has exacerbated this.
“As we approach the stamp duty, LTT and LBTT cliff edges on the 31 March, we are increasingly concerned about the pressure this is placing on the property industry with more than two-thirds (69%) of estate agents expecting to see an increase in failed sales due to buyers realising their sales will not complete ahead of the deadline. It’s important that action is taken now to prevent this and support the property sector.”