The number of residential transactions rose by 6.2 per cent in December – an unseasonal increase – according to data from HM Revenue & Customs.
There were 104,670 residential property transactions last month, when traditionally deals drop because of Christmas.
The industry is happy with the unexpected boom.
“These figures are encouraging because they show an increase in transactions in December, up on November and the previous year. While HMRC advises caution and not to get too carried away, it’s certainly a positive, particularly as the impact of the general election is yet to be felt on transaction numbers” according to Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent and a former RICS residential chairman.
Meanwhile Neil Knight, business development director at Spicerhaart Part-Exchange and Assisted Move, says: “It’s normal that people don’t look to move house around Christmas so we’d have expected to see a bit of a fall-off in December’s figures, but that hasn’t happened. Taken together with the figures for the two months before Christmas, this is a huge shot in the arm and paints a picture of a real recovery starting to take hold.”
Ben Johnston, director of website House, adds: “Transactional volume is what the UK housing market desperately needs, rather than rising property prices, so these figures are encouraging … December’s transaction numbers are perhaps not as telling as those of Q1 2020. These will be the true indicator of whether we are experiencing a ‘Boris bounce’.”