The UK set a record for one month of 213,120 residential property transactions driven by efforts to beat the Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) holiday window closure (or part closure because there is still no SDLT on the first £250,000 until 30 September).
This is the highest amount for one month ever recorded and beats the previous record by nearly 40,000 (39,060 – 174,060 in March of this year).
This means that in the last four months alone, there have been 602,680 residential property transactions. By comparison, that equates to nearly 60% (57.9%) of the total transactions for the 12 months to June 2020.
Property transactions in the last 12 months are 422,000 higher (1,462,270) than the prior 12 months (1,040,050), a 40.6% increase.
Obviously the SDLT holiday is the main reason for many families having made the move in this period. But it was driven by the broader context of the changing workplace and the need to have space at home to work remotely, as more people look at changing their working environment – the so-called ‘race for space’.
A longer commute is perhaps acceptable where a person might only need to do so two or three days a week as opposed to five. There are also the benefits of a bigger property, perhaps a garden, and being away from the bustle/congestion/pollution of a big city.
While the Stamp Duty holiday may well be helping families move house for less, SDLT receipts are still coming in. The huge number of transactions in June will not yet have fed through to the receipts as people have 14 days from completion to pay this. £1.2 billion was received in June by the Treasury. That’s about 12% of the total receipts for the last 12 months coming in one month. We expect next month may well be a record month for SDLT in terms of receipts.
Sean Randall, Stamp Duty expert at Blick Rothenberg agrees but is concerned by what happens from October. “The Stamp Duty holiday has accelerated the timing of transactions. Many of those intending to move this year, probably already have. The much-anticipated slow-down in the volume of deals has started – it will go below normal levels from October. This was inevitable, as buyers were in a frenzy in June.”
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