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Detached property owners most likely to be liable for IHT

Amanda Jarvis

March 22, 2006

One in three (29%) detached property sales in the UK above the 2006/07 IHT threshold of £285,000. Five years ago only 13% of detached properties were sold above the then IHT threshold of £234,000.

Halifax calculates that in London 82% of detached property sales occurred above the IHT threshold over the past year, followed by the South East (59%) and the East of England (37%).

The average price of a detached property is above the inheritance tax threshold of £285,000 in London (£563,085), the South East (£390,353) and the East of England (£298,430). The average price of a semi-detached property is above the inheritance tax threshold of £285,000 in London (£334,510).

Sales above the inheritance tax threshold accounted for at least 50% of detached house transactions in 9 counties. All of these were in London and the South East, apart from the City of Edinburgh.

Key Findings

– Sales above the inheritance tax threshold accounted for at least 25% of detached house transactions in 38 (36%) counties. 20 of these were in Southern England. However, Scotland accounted for 6 of the total, while 5 were in the West Midlands and four in Wales.

– 44% of semi-detached house sales in Greater London were above the IHT threshold of £285,000 in the past year. 13% of semi-detached transactions in the South East were above the threshold.
– Sales above the inheritance tax threshold accounted for 25% of Semi detached house transactions in 4 (4%) counties.

– Halifax calculates that the 2006/07 IHT threshold of £285,000 would now be £425,000 if it had been increased in line with house price inflation over the past 10 years. House prices have risen by 176% in the past ten years compared to only a 85% increase in the IHT threshold.

Tim Crawford, Group Economist at Halifax commented:
“The Inheritance tax threshold has failed to keep pace with the growth in house prices over the past ten years. Many more detached properties are now caught in the inheritance tax net.

We call on the government to index the inheritance tax threshold for the increase in house prices in the past ten years, which would bring it to £425,000 and to link the inheritance tax threshold to house prices in the future.”


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