Search Acumen comments on HMRC’s Q3 2020 SDLT receipts

• Stamp Duty receipts rise 27% over the last quarter, increasing to £1.9bn in Q3 2020, up from £1.5bn in Q2 20201
• Number of property transactions liable for Stamp Duty jumps 68% over the last quarter, rising to 250,500 Q3 2020, up from 149,000 in Q2 20201

Andy Sommerville, Director at Search Acumen, says: This latest data reveals the scale of demand that has surged into the property market.

“Although the Stamp Duty threshold has been raised, meaning fewer properties are being caught by the tax, high levels of buyer activity has maintained a healthy stream of receipts for the Government.

“Sharp rises in house prices since the reopening of the property market has partially offset the reduction in lower valued properties liable for SDLT. Upward pressure on prices for properties that were priced below £500,000 before the adjustment has pushed them above the new threshold.

“Properties valued around the £500,000 mark are often larger and have access to green space – especially outside of cities. These types of homes are experiencing a sharp inflow in buyer interest, largely driven by the rapid adoption of remote working and shifts in work life balances prompting consumers to reassess their housing needs. Overall price rises are also topping up the Government’s tax take from SDLT.

“At the same time, those involved in the transaction process are struggling to clear a backlog of inquiries, putting many at risk of missing out on the Stamp Duty holiday before it reverts back to normal.

“Digital innovation has been vital to the property market’s recovery under Covid-19. This energy needs to be harnessed by everyone to improve data consumption and adoption of digital practices. With local authorities continuing to close, this will be crucial to keep transactions progressing and helping conveyancers, lenders and brokers make efficiency gains that ultimately benefit clients.”

1Sources: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/quarterly-stamp-duty-statistics (figures may differ due to rounding)

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