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Graham Awards


Record business reported by major estate agencies

Several estate agencies have reported record months of business thanks to the rush of transactions ahead of the main stamp duty holiday deadline.

For example, Knight Frank’s latest London sales and lettings reports show that June was a record-breaking month for sales transactions.

The agency’s June figure was 53 per cent higher than March this year, the second highest month on record when transactions spiked ahead of the original stamp duty holiday deadline.


The number of new prospective buyers registering in June was 42 per cent above the five-year average for the same month. Meanwhile, the number of offers agreed was 86 per cent higher than the five-year average.

Prices in prime central London grew by 0.5 per cent in the three months to June, which was the largest quarterly rise since August 2015 - that took the annual increase to 0.7 per cent, which was the highest it has been since March 2016. 

“Frustrated demand will support UK housing market activity as the stamp duty holiday winds down and nowhere is this truer than in prime London markets” says Tom Bill, head of UK residential research at Knight Frank. 

“Not only will the financial impact of the holiday ending be smaller, but the lifting of international travel restrictions will boost demand in a market where a period of price growth is long overdue.”

Meanwhile the John D Wood & Co - formerly part of Countrywide and now owned by Connells - says it exchanged more properties in June than in any other June over the past decade.

Although the agency is declining to release the actual numbers, it claims that the total it exchanged in June this year - last month - also surpasses the combined month of June results over the last three years, suggesting the stamp duty holiday deadline had a significant role to play.

This adds to the announcement the brand made in January when it reported its best trading result in five years. 

Polly Ogden Duffy, the agency’s managing director, says: “Our new sales agreed are still 25 per cent higher than the same period in 2019 – and despite the knowledge that the stamp duty deadline wouldn’t be met for these home movers this indicates the strength of the market, at least in the short term.”

However, in areas such as the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, results have not shown any real difference in transaction numbers across previous years.

The agency says this indicates that the SDLT holiday has had no noteworthy effect on the more expensive postcodes.

“A combination of property prices increasing and pent-up demand accumulated throughout the pandemic, suggests that the domestic market remains confident and still highly competitive. Once the travel corridors truly re-open, the impact of the international buyer is really the one to watch” says Ogden Duffy.


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