9:37 AM, 5th August 2019, About 2 years ago
LCP has analysed HMRC’s Residential Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) statistics, just released for Q2 2019. For completeness, the analysis adds back transactions and receipts from the Welsh Revenue Authority (as Wales has been omitted from the HMRC SDLT report since Q2 2018). It also takes into account First Time Buyers’ Relief introduced in November 2017.
Naomi Heaton, CEO of LCP comments: “With an increase of 8.2% in stamp duty receipts and 6.8% in transactions in Q2 2019, compared with the previous quarter, there must have been a collective sigh of relief from the Exchequer. However, this modest bounce back follows an abysmal Q1, when receipts fell by over 26% and transactions 21%.”
“To put a further dampener on this ‘good news’, like for like receipts and transactions compared with the same period a year ago, fell by 5.4% and 2.9% respectively.”
“The number of people claiming First Time Buyers’ Relief in Q2 was 52,600, almost static compared with the previous year. However, from a peak of 60,800, numbers have fallen 13.5%, another disappointing result for the government as they endeavour to stimulate the first-time buying market.”
“HRAD transactions tell a similar story, with transactions falling 2.7% in Q2 2019 vs the previous year and 15% from their peak, with a similar fall in receipts.”
Heaton concludes: “The modest uptick in Q2 does reflect the increase in market activity reported by LCP’s June residential index. However, overall tax take for the last 12 months is £8.4bn compared with £9.5bn in 2017, a fall of 11.5%. This can only be a cause for concern for the Exchequer. Tumbling sterling may help buoy up high value sales but the prospect of a general election and a hard Brexit may further rattle the property market.”
“It is reported that PM Boris Johnson is looking at scrapping stamp duty for properties below £500,000 and reducing the top rate of 12%, a legacy of ex-Chancellor George Osborne, back to 7% – a welcome stimulus measure. It will be interesting to see if he also rolls back the proposed 1% additional levy for overseas buyers, now that Philip Hammond has been shown the door at No.11 and No.10 wants to show the world that the UK is open for business.”
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