HMRC figures highlight the impact of the SDLT holiday with a £4.1bn increase in Stamp Duty receipts in the six months from April to October 2021 compared to the same period in 2020.
And to put the current market in context, when comparing October 2021 and October 2019, receipts are up 25%.
But while conveyancers are busy, the latest reports from estate agency suggest that we may be in for a tough start to 2022. Properties continue to be sold in record time, but the scarcity of new properties coming market is driving prices, and by extension Stamp Duty, up.
Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures released earlier this week showed the average house price hit a record £270,000 after a £28,000 increase over the past year. Across the UK, prices rose 11.8% over the year to September, an increase on the 10.2% annual growth in August.
This week Savills suggested that average house prices across Britain could exceed £370,000 in the next five years.
Assessing the current situation, Sarah Coles, personal finance analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown acknowledged the part the pandemic has had to play.
“While the figures are distorted enormously by the impact of the pandemic, the dramatic impact of the stamp duty holiday is clear. It has pushed the average house price to a record high of £270,000 – up £28,000 in a year, and driven transactions higher. This year we had the busiest ever September in the property market, as buyers rushed for the final stamp duty holiday deadline.”
Andy Sommerville, Director at Search Acumen, adds:
“As the world adjusts to post-pandemic realities, we are seeing some of the biggest shifts in how people live and work for a generation. As the labour market continues to make choices about how it incorporates flexible working with many offices now open again, this allows workers to make their own choices about where they want to live, perpetuating demand in the housing market and driving pricing. As more people return to the office in some capacity, this is specifically fuelling demand in employment centres and surrounding commuter belts.
“These dynamics are born out in these latest figures which show that, even without the incentive of stamp duty savings, the market continues to serve up record house prices as these societal changes play out over the long term.