Knight Frank: Property exchanges rise by 57% in January

Jake Carter

February 1, 2021


The number of UK property exchanges rose by 57% between 3 and 23 January, according to Knight Frank.

Over the same time period, there was a 43% uplift in the quantity of offers accepted and an 18% rise in new prospective buyers.

Knight Frank outlined that this shows there is still momentum in the market, which it believes is spurred on by the closing window of the stamp duty holiday.

Furthermore, web traffic to Knight Frank’s stamp duty calculator page shows that unique visits were up 118% between December and January.

Tom Bill, head of UK residential research at Knight Frank, said: “Stamp duty accounts for around £12bn of the government’s £635bn annual tax revenues.

“It is not a huge slice, but every bit of revenue is significant as the government attempts to re-balance the books.

“The bandwidth for a wider re-think of property taxes is unlikely to exist at present.

“However, there is some pressure to extend the holiday from the so-called ‘red wall’ group of Tory MPs.

“Furthermore, the conveyancing system is creaking under the pressure of high deal volumes and stories of transactions collapsing at a time when labour market mobility is under scrutiny may increase the pressure on the Treasury.

“That said, two months from the end of the holiday, it feels like any government U-turn would need to be particularly sharp.”

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