House sales down by a fifth in February compared with a year earlier

Transactions in February this year were around 20.8% lower than in February 2021, HM Revenue and Customs said.

22 March 2022

House sales in February were around a fifth lower than the same month in 2021, according to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) figures.

An estimated 112,240 transactions took place in February across the UK, which was 20.8% lower than in February 2021, HMRC said.

The total was, however, 4.4% higher than in January 2022.

A stamp duty holiday in England and Northern Ireland ended completely from October last year, after being gradually phased out.

Similar holidays had also taken place in Scotland and Wales.

On Monday, property website Rightmove reported that the average price tag on a home in Britain has topped £350,000 for the first time.

Rightmove said average asking prices are more than 10% higher than a year ago and are being stoked by an imbalance between buyer demand and the number of properties available for sale.

Andrew Montlake, managing director of mortgage broker Coreco, said: “Moving forward, there are countless hurdles for households to clear in 2022, primarily rising interest rates and soaring inflation, so that will also apply a degree of downward pressure on transaction levels.

“However, rents are soaring and the desire of people to move out of the rental market will keep transaction levels ticking over.”

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