Months of “frantic buying activity” have pushed the average asking price for a home in Britain to a new high, according to the Rightmove real estate website.

The real estate portal said it expected HMRC figures due later this week to show that June was the busiest month on record for sales, with buyers rushing to complete before rights rules. stamps do change in parts of the UK.

On June 30, temporary tax relief on the first £ 500,000 of the cost of residential property in England and Northern Ireland began to be phased out, with the threshold lowered to £ 250,000. Wales ended its temporary tax break completely, while Scotland’s ended at the end of March.

The housing market has been boosted by the tax exemption, as well as buyers’ appetites to relocate after lifestyle changes during the pandemic, driving up prices and activity in most parts of the UK. United.

Rightmove, which lists the properties of 90% of estate agents, said the first six months of the year were the busiest since 2000, pushing up the average price of homes on the market in England, Wales and Scotland to £ 338,447 – an increase of £ 21,389, or 6.7%, since the start of 2021.

As buyers rushed to buy homes and take advantage of the stamp duty cut, Rightmove said sellers were rarer. In the first half of the year, 140,000 more sales were closed than the long-term average, but there were 85,000 fewer new listings. This resulted in a shortage of 225,000 properties on the market, the company said.

“This shortfall, along with frenzied buyer activity, is fueling record prices and leading to record lows in available-for-sale inventory,” Rightmove said.

“With high levels of activity continuing despite the expiration of the June stamp duty deadline, there is an urgent need to rebuild these low stocks of goods for sale so that price stability returns.”

Marc von Grundherr, director of estate agent Benham and Reeves, said: “The UK property market continues to defy expectations, with house prices hitting a new record despite rumors of falling values ​​following the reduction of stamp duties. deadline. There is no doubt that the stamp duty holiday was the catalyst for this impressive market performance.

“However, this is not the determining factor in buying intention for UK homebuyers, and therefore a robust level of activity will remain long after it expires.”

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