Property Watch – May 2023 UK residential property transactions

The graph below shows the UK housing market transactions for the year to 31 May 2023 with comparatives for the same period to May 2022, as reported by HMRC through Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) reporting.

Monthly residential property transactions from June 2021 to May 2023

Property Watch June 2023

* March 2023 to May 2023 figures are provisional due to delays in collecting all relevant SDLT/LTT/LBTT reporting.

The graph above shows:

  • The May 2023 residential property transactions amounted to 74,360 transactions which was 25.5% down from May 2022 and 9.9% up from April 2023.
  • Not shown in the above graph, but the May 2023 transactions were lower than the May 2019 (pre-COVID) transactions by 20,640 transactions (23.4% lower).
  • The Bank of England base rate increased to 4.5% (from 4.25%) in May 2023 (0.75% increasing to 1% in May 2022).

The transactions split by location in May 2023 were as follows:

No. %
England 61,690 83.0%
Scotland 7,550 10.2%
Wales 3,280 4.4%
Northern Ireland 1,840 2.4%
74,360 100.0%

Key points to note:

  • The transaction spike in June 2021 was a result of the end of the £500k SDLT holiday enacted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The September 2021 transaction spike was a result of the end of the £250k SDLT holiday enacted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The April 2023 transactions in the above graph are 450 higher than those reported in our April 2023 issue of this circular (which can be viewed here: Property Watch April) this is a result of more data being collected throughout the last month to support the transaction data reported.

UK residential property transaction prices to April 2023

The latest residential price data, as provided by HM Land Registry to April 2023 (so a month out of sync with the transaction data above) shows that prices were 3.5 % up at an average price of £286,489 compared to April 2022’s average of £276,489.

Residential property prices are 24.4% up from April 2020 (COVID began to peak) where the average was £230,318 per the Land Registry data.

Although year-on-year average property prices are higher, in recent months there has been a downward trend in the average property prices. April 2023 saw a reversal of this recent trend with a 0.5% increase compared to March 2023.

The graphs below show the change in average residential property transaction values over the past four years and the monthly change in the year to April 2023.


Property Watch June 2023 2

Property Watch June 2023 3

Please note that the above data and trends may not be consistent with published data from other data collectors such as property sites (Rightmove etc.) or the banks and the data is liable to change as the Land registry receives additional market information.

Ballards LLP’s property team has extensive experience acting for property-related businesses and can assist investors, developers, and associated trades with all financial property matters including; tax-efficient structuring, SDLT planning, Annual Tax on Enveloped Dwellings planning and reporting, and any other financial matters associated with property ownership. We act for all sizes of businesses.

If you would like to find out how we can help please contact Martin Adams, Tax Partner, at or on 01905 794 504.

To view past editions of this circular and other topical tax and business insights please visit Ballards Insights
Chi Duong, a Tax Associate at Ballards LLP, assisted in the preparation of this article.
Contains HM Revenue & Customs © Crown copyright data.


This article has been prepared for information purposes only. Formal professional advice is strongly recommended before making decisions on the topics discussed in this release. No responsibility for any loss to any person acting, or not acting, as a result of this release can be accepted by us, or any person affiliated with us. 

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