The total number of Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) transactions in Q1 2021 was up 48% annually, according to HMRC data.
On a quarterly basis, the number of transactions was up 1%.
The increase in transactions in the last three quarters has likely been impacted by the introduction of the SDLT holiday for residential properties, helping offset the decrease caused by COVID-19.
Residential property transactions in Q1 2021 were 2% higher than in Q4 2020, and 53% higher than in Q1 2020.
Non-residential property transactions in Q1 2021 were 7% lower than in Q4 2020, and 6% higher than in Q1 2020.
Total SDLT receipts in Q1 2021 were 8% lower than in Q4 2020 and total SDLT receipts in Q1 2021 were similar, up 1%, to those in Q1 2020.
The change in receipts has mainly been caused by the introduction of the SDLT holiday.
Residential property receipts in Q1 2021 were similar, within 1%, to both Q4 2020 and Q1 2020.
Non-residential property receipts in Q1 2021 were 24% lower than in Q4 2020, but 4% higher than in Q1 2020.
Up to Q2 2020 there were 540,900 claims that have benefited from the relief, and the total amount relieved by these claims is £1,294m over the period.
An estimated total of 65,300 transactions were liable to HRAD in Q1 2021, with the 3% element generating £285m in receipts, an decrease of 16% from the previous quarter, and a fall of 15% compared to Q1 2020.
The percentage of residential receipts from HRAD transactions has dropped slightly by 3% to 46% when compared to both Q3 2020 and Q4 2020.
Vikki Jefferies, proposition director at PRIMIS Mortgage Network, said: “Today’s figures show a clear increase in Stamp Duty Land Tax transactions over the first quarter, underscoring the fact that the mortgage industry is continuing to recover from the impact of the COVID-19 crisis.
“There is no doubt that the Chancellor’s decision to extend the stamp duty tax break in his Budget announcement helped to fuel this activity by stimulating buyer appetite and boosting demand.
“As we approach the tapered extension of the stamp duty holiday, the priority for the mortgage market will be processing cases quickly and efficiently so that borrowers are able to benefit from the tax cut.
“In order to achieve this, key players in the market, including lenders, advisers, distributors, housebuilders, surveyors and conveyancers should work collaboratively to ensure that clients are best supported during this period and that the application process is as smooth as possible for all involved.’’
Cloe Atkinson, managing director at Mortgage Engine, added: “Today’s figures show once again just how frenzied activity in the housing market is.
“The release of pent-up demand for property has been super-charged by the stamp duty holiday extension.
“The tax holiday has certainly been a success by any metric and current activity levels are further proof of the resilience of brokers, lenders and borrowers alike.
“Over the last year, the virus has forced the industry to re-shape the way consumers buy property and led to a great deal of adaption and innovation to overcome the difficult conditions caused by the pandemic.
“Technology has been important for all parties in transitioning to this new way of completing purchases and the industry has seen a large increase in the use of tech solutions, such as remote viewings and automated valuation models.
“As the UK looks forward to the return of some pre-pandemic normality, tech-driven solutions will continue to be a vital part of the success of the mortgage market.
“A lot of progress has been achieved in the last year when it comes to tech adoption, but the industry needs to be ambitious and continue to build upon this momentum to provide better outcomes for its consumers.”