The bounce back begins
HMRC released provisional housing market transaction data for November 2021 this morning
What they said
The provisional number of housing transactions in November 2021 was 96,290 on a seasonally adjusted basis
This is 24.3% higher than October 2021
Transaction levels were 16.4% lower than in November 2020
We were surprised that the level of residential housing transactions bounced back so quickly after the end of the stamp duty holiday. The provisional figure of 96,290 in November is only 3.4% lower than the pre-pandemic average of 99,642.
Whilst we would caution reading too much into one month's provisional data, it seems that at first glance, the UK housing market is in good health, perhaps it is doubled jabbed and boosted?
The bounce-back implies there is more to the underlying level of housing transactions than the impact of stamp duty holidays alone. The pandemic is having a significant impact on where and how we choose to live and where and how we choose to work (wine and cheese anyone?), and it seems that the race for space is not over just yet.
It is too early to tell what impact the Omicron variant will have on the UK housing market and as we write the 'will we? won't we?' be going into lockdown debate rages on. One thing however is for sure where and how we choose to live after the pandemic will be very different from where and how it was before COVID entered the scene.