Property sales market ‘back to normal’ as Covid effects wear off – official

Latest figures from the ONS show a market responding in a more traditional way to seasonal changes in buyer activity.

ons property sales

The property market has settled back to a more predictable pattern now that the pandemic has receded and government measures to keep it going have ended, latest ONS figures reveal.

Its provisional seasonally-adjusted estimate of UK residential transactions during March 2022 is 114,650, 35.7% lower than March 2021 but 2.6% higher than February.

But the ONS warns that the unusually severe reduction in home sales year-on-year is largely down to the huge number of people who rushed to complete their property transactions last year as the end of the Stamp Duty holiday loomed on 31st March 2021.

Property bounce

Otherwise, the figures show the housing market beginning to grow in volume as the Spring bounce approaches, albeit at a slower rate than normal.

Jason Tebb (pictured), CEO of, says: “With transaction levels picking up in March compared with February, but considerably down compared with March 2021, the housing market continues to adjust to a ‘new normal’, an elevated version of the pre-pandemic market.

“Our own data indicates that high levels of buyer and seller sentiment continued unabated in March as the housing market continues to adjust and thrive, despite all apparent headwinds. The frenetic pace of this time last year has diminished somewhat but heightened buyer activity and demand continues to meet low levels of housing stock.”

Lack of stock

Link to Regional Report“It’s been a slow start overall to 2022, with transactions being limited by the sheer lack of stock and people staying indoors during the winter months,” says Andrew Simmonds (pictured), director at Bristol-based Parker’s Estate Agents.

“On top of that, the Stamp Duty holiday was in force a year ago so that will have skewed the data.

“But the past few weeks have seen an increase in new instructions and buyers seem to have become more active again.

“There is still limited stock and that is hampering transaction levels.”

Jonathan Hopper (pictured) CEO of Garrington, adds: “Most encouragingly, the increase in sales also hints at an improvement in supply.

“For much of 2021, an insufficient number of homes for sale collided with surging demand from buyers – and this drove price inflation up into double-digits.”



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