The stamp duty holiday was introduced in July 2020 and gave an increase to the purchase price on which stamp duty would not be charged. This meant that property purchases up to £500,000 would have no stamp duty payable, whereas this had previously been only up to £125,000. This measure was introduced to keep the property market going through the pandemic and to keep people in jobs who would then reinvest in the economy, but the question is: has it had a positive impact nationwide?
How Many Transactions Are Taking Place?
According to a data analysis by Yes Homebuyers, Leeds, Birmingham and Cornwall have seen the largest numbers of property transactions since July 2020, with 5,355, 5,073 and 4,843 transactions respectively. The City of London had the lowest, with just 40 transactions taking place. Other areas with low volumes of transactions were Crawley with 512, Harlow and Stevenage each with 489, Eden with 439, Melton with 407, Boston with 391 and Oadby and Wigston with 340.
However, it isn’t always about the number of transactions, and Yes Homebuyers also looked at whether there had been a decline in any area when compared to the same period the year before. Hackney had 823 homes sold since July 2020, which sounds a healthy number but was in fact a decline of 42.6% when compared to 2019. This was the largest decline for any area in England. The City of London’s 40 sales was a decline of 39.4% from the prior year and, outside of London, Salford and South Derbyshire saw declines of -37.8% and -36.6% respectively.
Has the Stamp Duty Holiday Helped?
There is no doubt that the stamp duty holiday has encouraged transactions, and prices have climbed as well. However, a well-performing market doesn’t necessarily mean that properties will sell quickly, especially at higher prices. This highlights the importance of sensible thinking when approaching a sale. An appropriately priced property will achieve a sale in any market conditions. The increased number of transactions has not helped in some areas. For those looking for a conveyancing solicitor London has many options, such as Sam Conveyancing, but they are often very busy. The sheer workload has meant that many property transactions are taking longer, and this is one of the reasons the stamp duty holiday was extended.
The figures can be analysed in many different ways and presented to support a number of different theories. However, it seems that the general consensus is that the stamp duty holiday has been a good thing for the property market. Whether or not it has been good for the economy given the stamp duty revenue which the government has lost is another thing.