The flurry of activity before changes to stamp duty rules in England, Wales and Northern Ireland made for the busiest month since the figures were first published in April 2005, during the housing boom that led up to the financial crash.
HMRC said the figures “captured significant impacts from forestalling activity by taxpayers”, with buyers bringing forward transactions to take advantage of government policy.
The figure, which is not seasonally adjusted and is based on estimates, was above 200,000 for the first time ever.
Added to the previous two months’ figures, it showed the first quarter of the new financial year was the busiest since the third quarter of 2007, with a total of 428,620 registered sales.
The introduction of stamp duty holidays across the UK in July last year came as the housing market was already picking up post the original lockdown.
In England and Northern Ireland the tax was scrapped on the first £500,000 of a purchase, while in Scotland and Wales the threshold was moved to £250,000. Stamp duty calculator
An extension from the original deadline of 31 March, except in Scotland, meant buyers had until the end of June to take advantage of the full break. In England and Northern Ireland it will be phased out entirely at the end of September. Durham Properties For Sale