Buyers rushed to complete before Christmas
Thu 21 Jan 2016
There were 108,710 residential and 9,700 non-residential transactions in December 2015, according to seasonally
adjusted data from HMRC.
The seasonally adjusted estimate of the number of residential property transactions increased by 1.9% between
November 2015 and December 2015. This months seasonally adjusted figure is 11.6% higher compared with the
same month last year.
For December 2015 the number of non-adjusted residential transactions was about 3.6% higher compared with
November 2015. The number of non-adjusted residential transactions was 10.6% higher than in December 2014.
Peter Rollings, CEO of Marsh & Parsons, said: By the end of 2015, housing market activity was singing from a
completely different hymn sheet than it was at the beginning of the year. After a cautious start, there was a clear
key change in sales levels after the conclusion of the general election, and the year closed on a high note and
defied the usual seasonal slowdown with December experiencing the largest volume of property sales of any
month in 2015, as buyers rushed to complete transactions before Christmas.
This steady build-up of activity and buyer confidence is even more impressive when you consider some of the
adverse changes the housing market has had to stomach over the past 12 months. While the shakeup of stamp
duty was indeed a welcome tonic for many first-time buyers and those purchasing property at the lower bands, it
has been harder to digest at the middle and top-end, where the increased levy is particularly onerous. With an
additional 3% of stamp duty coming into effect for second homeowners in April, 2016 may well see an opposite
trend and a growth spurt in the early stages of this year that could then taper off in the short-term while the