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Stamp duty tax receipts soared in the third quarter of the year, as property buyers gave up waiting for Brexit and started to move.
The latest government figures on stamp duty tax receipts show that property transactions increased by 14 per cent from 268,400 in Q2 2019 to 305,100 in Q3 2019. This is a similar increase to last year.
Quarter three stamp duty tax receipts were £3,150 million, 20 per cent higher than in Q2, a sharper increase than for last year. This is due to a 25 per cent rise in residential receipts and a 7 per cent rise in non-residential receipts. Both transactions and receipts have stayed broadly the same in Q3 2018 and Q3 2019.
61,200 transactions claimed first time buyers’ relief in Q3 2019, making a total of 401,900 claims since the relief’s introduction. The estimated total amount relieved over that period is £955 million.
Director of Benham and Reeves, Marc von Grundherr, commented: ‘A healthy increase in stamp duty tax receipts demonstrates the slow but steady property landscape we’ve seen over the course of the year.
‘While price growth may have stuttered, we continue to see sales transact and while many first-time buyers have benefited from stamp duty relief, many other homebuyers will still be wondering why they are still forced to pay an archaic land tax introduced to fund a war against France.
‘Albeit, in the current context of Brexit, some might argue we are indeed still ‘at war’.’
Shaun Church, Director at Private Finance commented: ‘A pre-Brexit rush saw stamp duty tax receipts soar by 20 per cent over the summer as many movers looked to complete their house purchases in advance of what was anticipated to be the UK’s departure from the EU.
‘A further extension to Brexit, combined with a general election and Christmas, might be expected to quell any further flurry of activity into Q4. But in reality, the patience of many buyers has been depleted and we could be set to see buyers resuming their search, defying the uncertainty that continues to rumble on.
‘With house price growth continuing to ease in the face of this uncertainty, buyers willing to make a move over the next few months could stand to gain a potential property bargain.’