A leading legal firm says it has doubled its number of house sale transactions over the past year.
As research released today predicted that this year’s housing market is on course to be the busiest since 2007, Cartmell Shepherd Solicitors said its property department had seen a huge jump in transactions since last April.
According to the property website Zoopla, around 1.52 million UK house sales are expected across 2021, up by 45 per cent compared with last year.
Jonathan Carroll, a director at Cartmell Shepherd, said the stamp duty holiday in England and its subsequent extension had helped boost confidence in the market for house buyers.
He said: “The stamp duty holiday has been a big driver, along with people making lifestyle choices as a result of the pandemic.
“We’re finding that many people are investing in bigger properties with more living space and a larger garden, or moving to rural areas where they have access to the countryside.
“Our property department has been extremely busy dealing with residential house sales which have doubled in the past year.
“Some offers on properties are being accepted in a matter of days.
“The sheer volume of transactions in the market has led to pressure at every stage of a sale, from mortgage lenders to conveyancing, and we’re working as quickly and efficiently as possible to deliver the best possible service for our clients.”
The Government raised the nil band stamp duty rate for residential property sales from £125,000 to £500,000 last July to support the economy during the pandemic.
The measures, which had been due to end on April 1, were extended by three months, with the rate now due to drop to £250,000 from July 1, before reverting back to its original, pre-pandemic rate of £125,000 from October 1.
Jonathan said: “The temporary raising of the nil band rate for stamp duty undoubtedly helped boost confidence in the housing market during a difficult time but potential buyers need to be aware of the upcoming changes so they are not caught out.”
According to Zoopla, the value of homes sold in 2021 is projected to reach £461 billion, up by 46 per cent or £145 billion.
The website said that, with average annual transactions rarely exceeding one million to 1.2 million per year over the past decade, this would mark the highest sales figures since 2007.
It said the hottest sales markets currently include Wales, Yorkshire and the Humber and the North West of England – particularly Liverpool, Manchester, Wigan and Burnley.
The website said that overall, 2021 is projected to be among the 10 busiest years since 1959.