The extension of the stamp duty holiday saw the property sales market spike in March with the renewed momentum looking likely to be sustained over the near term, the latest RICS Residential Market Survey has found.
The survey posted the strongest results in some months and those surveyed anticipated a busy three months ahead for the market.
Indeed, the month saw agreed sales hit the strongest level since August 2020 whilst new buyer enquiries were at a high last seen in September 2020.
The report read: “The March 2021 RICS UK Residential Survey results show sales market activity picking up sharply over the month, with indicators on enquiries, sales and new instructions all improving noticeably compared to last time out.
“Survey participants highlight the extension of the stamp duty holiday as a significant driving force behind this renewed momentum, while a gradual loosening in lockdown restrictions is also said to be contributing to the rise in activity.”
Nigel Purves, CEO of Wayhome, added: “Demand clearly continued to outstrip supply in March, with a net balance of +59% of respondents citing a rise in house prices across the country.
“New buyer enquiries rose +42% – the strongest return since September 2020 and sales also spiked last month. This helped create a constant drumbeat of activity as we edged closer to the start of the traditionally busier springtime period.
“While we are seeing a new-found confidence among many buyers and sellers, sadly this just isn’t the case for a large proportion of aspiring homeowners across the UK.
“Even with the stamp duty extension for an extra three months spurring on hopeful home buyers, there are many who find themselves overlooked and ignored due to their household income not meeting a mortgage lender’s criteria.
“This is despite them already having a deposit saved and being able to afford the equivalent of mortgage repayments in rent each month. More needs to be done to level the playing field and provide people with alternative routes into homeownership.”