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Benham and Reeves: Stamp duty saves homebuyers £108m

Jessica Bird

October 8, 2020

stamp duty

The stamp duty holiday has already saved homebuyers £108m, as 85% have paid no tax on their purchase, according to research by Benham and Reeves.

Benham and Reeves analysed sold price records across England from the Land Registry between the launch of the stamp duty holiday on 8 July and the latest available data from 31 August.

There have been some 20,238 transactions since the scheme was launched, with a total sold value of £6.7bn.

As many as 85% of these transactions have fallen below the £500,000 price threshold and paid no stamp duty as a result.

In regular market conditions, £189m would have been paid in stamp duty; with the holiday in place, this fell to £80.8m, a total of saving of £108,126,686 in just two months.

Based on the current average saving, the total saved come March could be an enormous £524.9m over the 267 day holiday.

Southampton, Plymouth, Sheffield, Newcastle and Nottingham have been among some of the major cities to see the biggest benefit for homebuyers.

98% of all transactions in these cities since the stamp duty holiday was implemented have been at £500,000 or below.

The other more affordable major cities have seen between 84% and 97% of transactions pay no stamp duty.

Oxford and Cambridge have seen 59% and 52% of transactions pay no stamp duty.

London is home to the lowest number of stamp duty exempt transitions as a percentage of all transactions at 48%.

However, the capital has seen homebuyers save the most; since the stamp duty holiday started, London homebuyers have saved nearly £25.2m alone.

Wandsworth is the London borough with the biggest saving to date, with homeowners saving £1.7m in stamp duty.

Bromley (£1.5m), Croydon (£1.2m), Barnet (£1.1m) and Richmond (£1m) have also seen the stamp duty saving exceed £1m.

In terms of the most stamp duty-free property purchases, Barking and Dagenham ranked top, with 100% of transactions falling within the holiday threshold.

Newham (83%) and Bexley (75%) have also seen a considerable amount of transactions complete without stamp duty owed.

Marc von Grundherr, director of Benham and Reeves, said: “Given the fact that the holiday has only been in place for a few short months, the money saved by homebuyers as a result is quite astounding.

“Of course, it has caused demand to go through the roof and so you could argue that in ‘regular’ market conditions the saving wouldn’t be quite as considerable.

“However, it has helped the housing market bounce back from pandemic uncertainty at an alarming rate, helping to avoid a property price crash, while benefiting thousands of homebuyers in the process.

“It will be interesting to see the final scores on the doors once the holiday ends but at this rate, the money saved is going to be huge.

“You could argue that the tax should be abolished completely as it’s nothing more than an archaic money grab from the government, to the detriment of those who are already stretching to afford the most expensive purchase in life.

“Based on these figures, you wouldn’t be the only one and it does highlight just how much is paid to the government via stamp duty tax.”


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