House sales tumbled by more than half during the first few weeks after the end of the extended stamp duty holiday in England and Northern Ireland, leading to the quietest October property market for almost a decade.

After a record surge in activity earlier in the year, transactions across the UK slumped by 52% in a month to reach 76,930 in October after thousands of homebuyers rushed to complete their purchases and beat the government’s end-of-September stamp duty holiday deadline applying to buyers in the largest market, England and Northern Ireland.

Elsewhere, the withdrawing of property-purchase tax breaks happened earlier: in Scotland the end date was 31 March this year, while a similar measure in Wales ended on 30 June.