August HMRC Stats show busy run upto to end of SDLT holiday

August’s HMRC statistics show the anticipated busy run up to the end of the SDLT holiday on 30th September.

The data is split into non-seasonally adjusted estimate, and seasonally adjusted estimates (which follow a regular annual pattern) UK residential transactions.

In August 2021 the non-seasonally adjusted numbers were 106,150 transactions, 25% higher than August 2020 and 28% higher than July 2021. In England the number of transactions was 87,860, in Scotland is was 10,430 transactions, Wales 5,080 and Northern Ireland 2780.

Commentators continue to be positive about the future of the property market beyond the SDLT deadline as other factors drive demand; high LTV mortgages, low cost of borrowing, an improved FTB market, and continued demand for properties that can facilitate working from home.

The Office for National Statistics reported in August that July’s Stamp Duty revenues were the highest ever, with a high number of transactions in the run up the 30th June deadline and the 14 days grace period in which to pay SDLT falling into July figures.

Commenting on today’s figures Andy Sommerville, Director at Search Acumen, says

“Today’s statistics show a significant uptick in transactions, quashing concerns that the property recovery might be a short-term flash in the pan that relies solely on the stamp duty incentive. The red-hot market was inevitably going to slow at some point, but we are still facing very high demand compared to previous years as buyer appetite continues to outstrip supply.

“The market is moving so rapidly that the period from listing a property to placing an offer or agreeing a sale has been cut down to a month or less. This has put a huge strain on the transaction process, which we are unlikely to see reduce anytime soon. But while property sales may be quick to negotiate, the subsequent legal due diligence processes still have significant room for improvement.

“Conveyancers and property lawyers will need to embrace efficiencies wherever possible to maintain a competitive advantage. The adoption of new technology over the past 18 months has paid dividends for some and will be increasingly vital to keep pace with buyer demand. By looking out for opportunities to integrate technologies which improve its ability to serve clients effectively, the property legal sector will be better placed to provide a buyer experience that’s fit for the 21st century.”

HMRC’s full transaction commentary can be accessed here: 

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