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Number of SDLT transactions almost double in Q4 2020

Jake Carter

February 3, 2021

The total number of Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) transactions in Q4 was up 43% on Q3 2020, according to HMRC’s stamp duty statistics bulletin.

The number of SDLT transactions in Q4 2020 were also 14% higher than in Q4 2019.

HMRC attributed the rise to the introduction of the stamp duty holiday, as well as pent up demand within the property market.

Residential property transactions in the last quarter of 2020 were 44% higher than Q3 and 16% up on Q4 2019.

Non-residential property transactions in Q4 2020 were also higher than in Q3 up 26%, however down 6% on an annual basis.

The total number of SDLT receipts in Q4 2020 was 47% higher than in Q3 2020.

Despite this rise, the total number of SDLT receipts in Q4 2020 was down 16% on Q4 2019.

Vikki Jefferies, proposition director at PRIMIS Mortgage Network, said: “The final quarter of 2020 saw a healthy number of property transactions as thousands of buyers capitalised on the Chancellor’s reduction in stamp duty.

“Over recent months, lenders and advisers have been working hard to process these cases and help borrowers benefit from the stamp duty holiday ahead of the March deadline, all while continuing to work remotely – something which has been no mean feat.

“Going forward, all eyes will be on the March Budget to see if an extension to the stamp duty holiday is announced.

“In the meantime, brokers will continue to play a key role in helping borrowers find the best product to meet their particular needs.

“For this reason, it will be up to lenders, distributors, conveyancers, trade bodies and other key players in the mortgage market to ensure that advisers have the resources and capacity they need to support their clients during this period, regardless of whether the stamp duty holiday is extended or not.”

Residential property receipts in Q4 2020 were 33% higher than in Q3 2020, but 22% lower than in Q4 2019.

Non-residential property receipts followed the same trend, with the number up 81% on a quarterly basis, however down 3% year-on-year.

Since the introduction of first-time buyers’ relief up until the end of Q2 2020, there have been over 540,900 claims that have benefited, and the total amount relieved by these claims is £1,294m over the period.

Furthermore 61,800 transactions were liable to Higher Rates on Additional Dwellings (HRAD) in Q4 2020 with the 3% element generating £333m in receipts, an increase of 34% from the previous quarter, and a fall of 19% compared to 2019 Q4.

The percentage of residential receipts from HRAD transactions has remained similar at 48% when compared to earlier quarters in 2020.

Rob Barnard, director of intermediaries at Masthaven, added: “The latest statistics from HMRC show there has been a sustained increase in SDLT transactions in Q4.

“The restrictions placed on the industry in Q2 2020 due to the pandemic meant a near hiatus in activity, but the stamp duty holiday appears to have achieved its intended result, with market activity accelerating and a rush of transactions late in the year.

“However, the fast-approaching deadline for the end of the tax holiday has created a cliff-edge as buyers hurry to complete transactions while bottlenecks in the process continue to slow down property sales.

“Following the debate in Parliament this week, there have been renewed calls to extend the holiday and many are wondering why the government is choosing to take its foot off the accelerator now, while there is still so much pressure on the wider economy.

“Whatever decision is made, it should be made as early as possible and clearly communicated so that everyone can plan accordingly.

“For buyers in need of a fast transaction, specialist lenders can offer tailored, short-term solutions that meet these requirements, such as bridging loans.

“Specialist lenders and mortgage brokers need to work together over the coming weeks to ensure borrowers have access to the finance they need and explore alternative forms of borrowing that can help individuals achieve their home ownership dreams.”   


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