And London falls 50%
Transactions in May fell 33.5% year on year in England to 49,795 and they were down 29.6% in Wales at 2,596.
Figures for London were even more drastic, down 46% year on year for May to 5,111.
May is the last month for which the new Land Registry/ONS house price survey has transaction figures. However, it did also say that sales volumes fell 0.9% in July compared with June.
On house prices, the survey showed the east of England continuing to outperform the rest of the country as price inflation slowed yet again in July.
Figures for July show annual price increases of 8.3% which takes the average property value in the UK to £216,750.
The annual growth rate is down from 9.7% in June, yet regionally the east of England registered a 13.2% boost to £273,806.
This outpaces annual house price inflation in London where prices rose £484,716 in the year to July.
Andrew Bridges, managing director of Stirling Ackroyd, said the Chancellor should consider scrapping George Osborne’s Stamp Duty changes to boost the London market.
He said: “Those working in the capital are now looking to the east and south-east of England for more affordable homes, which is why these areas are also seeing double digit growth.
“Rising prices are being fuelled by the ongoing shortfall of properties on the market – there are simply not enough people selling or enough new homes being built to match demand.
“As the Government falls well behind in achieving its target of 1m new homes by 2020, Philip Hammond will need to introduce radical new policies in his Autumn Statement if he hopes to get Britain building again.
“The Chancellor should consider scrapping Osborne’s Stamp Duty hike which continues to cripple the top of the market, reducing the incentive to sell homes in London and further pushing up prices.
“Summer may be coming to an end, but perhaps it’s time for a holiday – a Stamp Duty holiday to get the market moving.”
Jonathan Hopper, managing director of Garrington Property Finders, said: “On the front line we’re seeing strong intent, but a lack of market clarity is disconcerting for buyers.
“However, many who equivocated in the run-up to the Brexit vote are finding that the fence is starting to hurt, and are finally getting off it.
“Fired by the realisation that in many areas it is becoming a buyer’s market, many are asking for substantial discounts in return for the certainty of a sale.
“The dust has yet to fully settle, but there are growing signs that the combination of low interest rates and buyer confidence is helping Britain’s property market to take much of the Brexit effect in its stride.”