The provisional seasonally adjusted estimate of UK residential transactions in December 2020 was 129,400, 31.5% higher than December 2019 according to HMRC Property Transaction data.
On a monthly basis, this figure was up 13.1% on November 2020.
Looking to the estimate of UK non-residential transactions in December 2020, this was up 4.5% annually to reach 10,470, and up 14.5% month-on-month.
The provisional non-seasonally adjusted estimate of UK residential transactions in the last month of 2020 was 137,200, up 34.2% annually.
This figure also noted an uptick on a monthly basis, having risen by 14%.
Non-residential transactions in December 2020 rose by 9.3% to 11,970, and was up 31.6% on November 2020.
Kevin Roberts, director of Legal & General Mortgage Club, said: “It has been an incredibly busy few months for the mortgage market, so it’s not altogether surprising to be seeing property transactions on the rise too.
“A combination of the stamp duty holiday and a ‘race for space’ fuelled by people spending more time at home during lockdown has caused a surge in activity in the market.
“However, the stamp duty deadline is drawing ever closer and buyers now have just over two months to complete on their property purchase.
“Those looking to press ahead with their plans should consider reaching out to an independent mortgage adviser.
“These experts will be able to advise them not just about the likelihood of meeting the deadline, but they could also make a significant difference in helping them to find the best possible product for their needs too.”
Guy Gittins, managing director of Chestertons, added: “The London sales market continued almost unabated throughout December, with both buyers and sellers keen to agree sales and progress them as quickly as possible through to completion.
“Such is the urgency of some of these deals that we had a number of sales finalised by solicitors on Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day!
“The impending finalisation of Brexit and the implementation of Tier 4 restrictions had almost no immediate impact on the market or people’s confidence in the market.
“2020 really has been a year of ups and downs for everyone in the country, but it ended on a high for the London property market.
“With plenty of properties on the market and plenty of buyers still highly motivated to move, we expect this strong market to continue through to the spring.
“What happens after then will really depend on how quickly we can emerge from the shadows of the coronavirus crisis and start on the path of economic recovery.”
Sam Mitchell, chief executive of online estate agent Strike, said: “2020 taught us to expect the unexpected, and that definitely rings true for the UK property market.
“Bucking any signs of the usual seasonal slowdown over the Christmas period, December was instead the busiest month on record for property transactions in over 10 years.
“Although we saw tighter lockdown restrictions come into place again, the property market remained open for business and our agents were kept busier than ever.
“The looming stamp duty holiday deadline, partnered with the vaccine rollout, both played their part in boosting market activity and increasing consumer confidence as the year came to a close.
“Going into 2021, all eyes are on the property market to see how it fairs when the stamp duty holiday draws to a close in March.
“Truth be told, we are seeing enough buyer and seller demand to keep things moving well beyond that deadline.
“We may be faced with broader economic changes in the year ahead, but history would suggest the housing market will be resilient enough to fight back.”