The busiest day of the year was Friday 18th December, home move comparison site reallymoving has revealed.

Usually the busiest day is the last Friday of August, but the lockdown and the stamp duty holiday has shifted things.

Every Friday in December apart from Christmas Day (4th, 11th and 18th December) were all among the top 10 busiest days to move in 2020 for the first time.

Between July and December 2020, the proportion of first-time buyers in the market fell by 12% compared to the same period last year, as the post-lockdown boom was driven by equity-rich homeowners higher up the ladder who benefited the most from the stamp duty holiday.

Over the year, first-time buyers made up 51% of all buyers in the market, compared to 56% in 2019.

Rob Houghton, chief executive of reallymoving, said: “The property market took us on a rollercoaster in 2020, from shock and despair when thousands of home movers were forced to press pause back in March, to the extraordinary resurgence in demand that began in the early summer and continued right through to the end of the year. Never before has the Friday before Christmas been the busiest day for home moves!

“Most concerning however, has been the decline in the proportion of First Time Buyers in the market. They largely didn’t benefit from the stamp duty holiday and faced huge challenges securing finance as higher loan-to-value mortgages disappeared overnight and several high street lenders banned gifted deposits.”

He added: “Yet there are reasons to be optimistic that 2021 could see a reversal in fortunes for First Time Buyers as lenders return to the market, competition for homes is reduced and price inflation readjusts downwards.

“Reallymoving is on a mission over the coming year to help homebuyers upskill with a series of live webinars and content designed to help inform and educate about the process, ensuring buyers have everything they need to navigate a successful home purchase.”

The top 5 locations where the most properties were bought in 2020 were: London (13.7%), Leeds (1.7%), Birmingham (1.6%), Bristol (1.6%) and Leicester (1.3%).

By region, the South East of England saw the most home mover activity.

IDX Real Estate