More than 85,000 homes changed hands in January, with property transactions up on pre-Covid averages, HMRC data has revealed.
Official figures show that the provisional non-seasonally adjusted estimate of UK residential transactions for January 2022 was 85,520. This was 22.2 per cent lower than December 2021.
There were seven per cent more transactions than the pre-pandemic 2017-2019 January average.
However, there were 13 per cent fewer transactions than in January last year.
Lawrence Bowles, director of research at Savills, said: “It’s no surprise we’re seeing transaction activity start to ease back. Last year’s stamp duty holiday is now a distant memory, and a slowdown in the number of homes listed for sale means it’s looking more and more like a seller’s market. Figures from TwentyCi show the supply of homes for sale is -10 per cent below the 2017-19 average.”
He added: “That imbalance in supply and demand will continue to put upward pressure on values, though rising mortgage rates will impact affordability and ultimately slow potential growth. We’re predicting average UK house prices will rise 3.5 per cent this year and 13.1 per cent by 2026.”
Jason Tebb, chief executive officer of property search website OnTheMarket.com, said some of last year’s “frenetic market activity” had “dissipated” with home transactions settling back to pre-Covid levels.
He added: “However, while the stamp duty holiday incentivised many buyers, there are still plenty of purchasers who didn’t make a move last year and are keen to do so, determined to take advantage of a competitive mortgage market.
“As we head towards what is usually a busy spring market, the number of available properties for sale is still a long way short of meeting buyer demand. Our own data indicates that home mover confidence remains solid, which is translating into consistent momentum in terms of serious property seekers who are actively searching for a property to buy or rent. Correctly priced properties are going under offer quickly and it remains the best sellers’ market in decades.”