Property prices have however remained steady falling just 0.2% in April.
Richard Sexton, director of e.surv, said: “The sharp fall in transactions in April shows the huge impetus the end of the stamp duty holiday injected into the market.
“The 42% rise we saw in March has now been replaced by the corresponding fall and the pressure is now on for the government to show schemes like NewBuy will be able to make up for the return of stamp duty and drive the market forward.”
On property prices, Sexton added that the UK was likely to see price growth return next month as the spike in prices created by the rush to beat last year’s stamp duty hike for properties over £1m fell out of the figures.
He said: “The market has been supported by strong underlying demand from buyers who despite having to clear relatively large hurdles to access mortgage finance, are still anxious to take a step onto the property ladder.
“Strong underlying demand from buyers pushed transactions in Q1 2012 20% higher than in the same period last year.”