Knight Frank says it will be September at the earliest before the current frenzy of housing market activity will stabilise.
The agency’s head of residential research, Tom Bill, says the start of the ‘tapering’ of the stamp duty holiday - scheduled for two weeks’ time - will trigger a slight slowdown, but the absence of summer holidays thanks to Covid restrictions will mean a summer period that will nonetheless be busier than usual.
He says 2021, instead of featuring the traditional spring and autumn high sport for activity, will be divided effectively into four quarters by the stamp duty holiday tapering down and then ending.
The first quarter saw the stamp duty holiday ‘deferred’ four weeks before it was due to expire at the end of March. The second quarter will bring the end of the holiday for many in June while the third quarter will see it end completely at the end of September.
Then the final quarter will begin to see the market landscape appear in the post-holiday and post-pandemic form.
Knight Frank figures show a 36 per cent decline after the first stamp duty holiday deadline in March before large volumes of transactions then resumed.
“The impact of stamp duty on transaction numbers is clear. Indeed, there are parallels between 2016 and 2021, with both years experiencing a spike in March followed by a drop in April, as the chart below shows” says Bill.
“Ahead of the stamp duty holiday expiring on June 30, there is every reason to believe there will be a second large spike in transactions this month.”