The housing market is seeing a “mini boom”, after Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor, announced a stamp duty holiday earlier this month.
Figures from property website Rightmove show a 35% rise in the number of sales agreed in England – compared with the same period last year – in the five days after the Chancellor’s announcement.
Sunak announced the stamp duty holiday with immediate effect on 8 July as part of a package of measures designed to boost the British economy which has been hit be the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
It means that until 31 March next year the threshold for paying the property transaction tax has been lifted from £125,000 to £500,000.
The Rightmove analysis shows that asking prices between June 7 and July 11 climbed by 3.7% to hit a record high average of £312,625. That was 2.4% higher than before the lockdown began in March.
Rightmove director Miles Shipside said: “The unexpected mini-boom continues to gather momentum.”
He added: “The busy – until interrupted – spring market has now picked up where it left off and has been accelerated by both time-limited stamp duty holidays and by homeowners reappraising their homes and lifestyles because of the lockdown.
“These figures are the earliest indicator of house price trends.
“They show on average prices gently rising not falling, and this will be reflected in the coming months in other house price reports.”