The latest HM Revenue and Customs figures show that there were 1.23 million property transactions in 2016, the highest figure recorded since 2007.
The seasonally adjusted figure is higher than the 1.22 million recorded in 2015 and represents a significant increase when compared with the 2009 low of 847,540.
Last year’s increase is partly down to the introduction of a 3% stamp duty surcharge in April. HMRC reports that in March – leading up to the introduction of the increased tax – transactions soared to almost 175,000 as investors and second property purchasers endeavoured to avoid paying an extra 3% in stamp duty.
In December, there were 97,250 residential transactions – 8.5% lower than the 106,230 recorded in December 2015 and 0.2% higher than the figure recorded in November.