Almost a third of house sales collapsed in January ahead of the stamp duty land tax holiday coming to an end, according to a report by property platform Rightmove.

Rightmove reported 29% of proposed purchases across the UK fell through during the month, compared with 22% in the same period last year.

Currently, the threshold for paying stamp duty on residential properties in England and Northern Ireland is set to fall back to £125,000 on 1 April 2021, from the temporary £500,000.

The policy was announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tim Bannister, director of property data at Rightmove, said:

“It’s clear that more people than ever before used the new year as a chance to start thinking about moving home, despite all of the challenges and worries that came with January, but we are seeing the effect of lockdown on the number of properties coming to market.

“We’re starting to see fall throughs creep up a bit, though not by a substantial amount, a sign that some deals may be falling apart as they know they won’t complete in time to make the stamp duty holiday deadline, though this is likely to be in the groups set to make more substantial savings.”

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