The scale of the market bounce back after lockdown is made clear in new figures from HM Revenue & Customs.
It registers 70,710 transactions made in July on a seasonally adjusted basis - an encouraging 14.5 per cent rise over the June total.
However, this is still a hefty 27.4 per cent down on July 2019’s transaction total - and remember that was at the depth of the Brexit hiatus.
Former RICS residential chairman and London agency owner Jeremy Leaf says although the data refers to activities over a month ago, the market is seen to be resilient post-lockdown.
“They show buyers were emerging from lockdown and taking advantage of continuing low interest rates even before the stamp duty holiday was announced. Looking forward, future results are only likely to be stronger as they will take account of the even more significant upsurge in activity we have seen on the ground since July” he says.
Housing market commentator and analyst Anthony Codling, who now runs PropTech platform Twindig, adds: “According to HMRC housing transactions have now been increasing for three months, good news, but still a long way from normal. It is too early to see if the Stamp Duty Holiday is working, but such holidays usually lead to a rush of transactions as the holiday ends rather than a steady increase during the holiday itself.”
There was also caution from Private Finance director Shaun Church who warns demand may drop later this year.
“There are clear headwinds which could suppress demand. High levels of uncertainty in the property market and the UK economy, compounded by huge demand from borrowers, all indicate that [interest] rate rises are on the horizon” he says.
“The government urgently needs to start preparing for how it is going to maintain high levels of demand after the Stamp Duty threshold reverts to normal. A phased reintroduction of the lower threshold would ensure buyer activity does not suddenly fall off a cliff.”