House sales up 40%; stamp duty holiday extended

House sales up 40%; stamp duty holiday extended

Latest figures from HM Revenue and Customs show completed housing transactions rising to 60,000 in March, up from 43,000 in February.

News of the 40% increase adds to other recent evidence that the UK housing market is on the road to recovery and while house sales traditionally rise in March, when the figures are seasonally adjusted they still show an encouraging 13% rise.

However, there is some way to go because last month’s completed sales are at their lowest level since the early 1970s and predictions for further falls in house price remain, with the Centre For Economics and Business Research recently suggesting that prices will bottom out after a further 10% decline.

In related property news, today’s budget has seen the Government’s shared equity scheme, HomeBuy Direct, receive an £80 million boost and the stamp duty holiday for properties under £175,000 extended to the end of 2009.

The concession was introduced last September, raising the threshold at which 1% stamp duty is paid from £125,000.

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  1. House sales may be up in March however I don’t think this trend will continue. I don’t think the housing market will improve until 2010.