The number of residential properties transacted in the UK grew on a monthly basis at the end of 2021, show new statistics from the government.
In December 2021, on a non-seasonally adjusted basis, there were an estimated 113,470 residential transactions – 11.8% more than in November 2021 but 14.6% less than in December 2020.
This was the second month in a row that transactions increased.
During the same month, HMRC recorded 11,780 non-residential transactions in the UK, which is a 12.9% increase on the previous month and a 7.4% rise on an annual basis.
“While we had previously seen a 52% decrease in sales in October, the last two months have seen further increases which suggest that a few months on from the withdrawal of the stamp duty holiday, the property market is continuing to defy expectations,” says Quilter mortgage expert Karen Noye.
She continues: “Many had hoped that with the final withdrawal of the government scheme, demand for homes might finally subside and prices may subsequently fall.
“So far this has not been the case. Office for National Statistics data released earlier this week showed that property prices had continued on the up, with the average UK house price reaching £271,000.
“However, soaring inflation could well halt continuously rising house prices. While the Bank of England opted to raise rates to 0.25% in December, it is unlikely they will be able to stop there if they wish to combat the steep rise in inflation we are witnessing, so further rate rises are expected.
“Highly inflated house prices coupled with elevated mortgage rates as a result of a further hike would make buying a home all the more unaffordable and could put off prospective home buyers.”
And Coreco managing director Andrew Montlake says: “Transactions in December 2020 were given a phenomenal boost by the stamp duty holiday, so it’s no surprise that transactions last month were down in comparison.
“The fact that transactions were up on November  is a better reflection of where the market is at.”