Number of transactions liable for SDLT rises 10 percent year on year

The number of property transactions liable for stamp duty in the second quarter of 2016 was 10% higher than in 2015.

For those under £250,000 the number liable rose 8% with those between £250,000 and £500,000 rising 12%. For those over £500,000 was 18% higher than the second quarter of 2015.

On a quarter to quarter basis, the number of properties liable for the charge wast just 1% higher overall than in the first three months of the year. For transactions worth less than £250,000 the rise was 6%. For the £250,000 to £500,000 bracket the number actually declined 2%, with those worth over £500,000 declining by 9%.

The number of non-liable transactions in Quarter 2 of 2016 was 21% lower than the previous quarter, and 18% lower than Quarter 2 of 2015.

According to HMRC, the drop in non-liable transactions in Quarter 2 of 2016 is associated with the introduction of higher rates for additional properties in April 2016. The increase in rates has led to additional properties sold for under £125,000 becoming liable for SDLT.

Andrew Bridges, managing director of Stirling Ackroyd said: “Just a couple of months down the line from April’s stamp duty surcharge and the first results are in. The volume of properties sold keeps growing – and it’s at the lower-end of the market where momentum is at its highest. It may be too early to call but it seems the government’s changes aren’t off-putting buyers from snapping up those additional properties.

“But raising stamp duty is a risky business. Buyers may have been able to grab second properties amid Brexit and economic uncertainty with sellers having to settle for lower prices. However at the top end of the market, buyers are looking scared and many are reluctant to shoulder the extra cost. It seems buy to let investors are still primarily competing with first time buyers for lower value properties. As we enter a post-Brexit property market, the government may have to look again at the surcharge and assess whether it is helping or hindering the market.”

Today's Conveyancer