The latest figures from the HMRC show the scale of sales market drop-off following the surge in purchases by buy to let investors early this year.
The Revenue says 84,300 homes were sold in May - the second month after the introduction of a three per cent stamp duty surcharge on additional homes.
In March, the final month before the surcharge kicked in, sales peaked at 171,220. In April there were 74,590 property sales, including a small number believed to have been aiming for completion before the surcharge deadline - but which ended up missing it and incurring the additional stamp duty.
"While April and May are lower than the corresponding months in 2015, it should be noted that the total for March to May is still substantially higher than the corresponding period last year" says the HMRC.