All we want at Christmas is a new home

Home sale

While many people look to a gym membership after the excesses of Christmas, others want an even greater lifestyle change . . . a new home.

The demand for property over the festive period was the highest on record according to Rightmove, the online property portal.

Interest in new homes was up 23 per cent from a year earlier, while on Boxing Day, the number of new sellers shot up 21 per cent compared with the previous year.

Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s director of property data, said: “Boxing Day traditionally signals the start of activity ramping up as people turn their attention from turkey and trimmings to their plans for 2022, and activity is set to increase further as January unfolds and people start to settle down into a routine after the December break.

“Despite the frenzied market activity we saw throughout 2021, we’ve recorded even higher levels of buyer demand in the period between Boxing Day and the New Year’s Day this year, driven by a sustained desire to get on and move.”

Bannister noted how the growth in activity was, in part, due to a “new group of sellers coming to market who have made it their resolution to move in 2022”, after a year of economic uncertainty and turbulence.

In 2020, Rishi Sunak, the chancellor, cut stamp duty on sales up to £500,000 as part of his Covid relief budget, which fuelled a surge in demand and house prices. The tax cut remained in place in full only until the end of last June. However, demand and price growth has persisted.

Separately, mortgage rates are expected to rise as high street banks increase interest rates in line with the Bank of England, which is anticipated to hike the