This was likely exacerbated by the six-week closure of the property market during the lockdown to restrict the spread of coronavirus. Activity in the sector was suppressed, and just 37,360 transactions occurred.
Joshua Elash, director of MT Finance, said: “The annual rebound has been stunning. A year ago, the first lockdown bit into the property market hard, and this comeback is nothing short of astonishing.
“All in all, the data continues to support a growing argument that stamp duty should be abolished completely so as to continue to encourage transactions, upward mobility, and to support the economy.”
Stamp duty rush
There were also signs of buyer uncertainty around the end of the initial stamp duty holiday deadline of 31 March. In April, transactions fell 35.7 per cent on a monthly basis.
Jonathan Sealey, CEO at Hope Capital, said: “It will come as no surprise that last month’s figures should have dropped so sharply at almost 36 per cent on March, given the rush to beat the stamp duty deadline that was driving activity all through the first quarter.
“With that deadline now looming on the horizon for the end of June it’s likely we will see the same pattern towards the end of Q2.”
The non-seasonally adjusted figures showed there were 111,260 residential transactions last month, the highest total in April since the financial crash.
This was compared to April 2007, where transactions reached 126,450.
Year-on-year, this was a rise of 197.8 per cent, again impacted by the closure of the property market during the first lockdown.
In comparison to the previous month however, this was a 35.8 per cent dip on the 173,410 non-seasonally adjusted transactions seen in March.