HMRC property transactions drop by 35% in April

April saw 117,860 residential property transactions across the UK, according to new figures published by HMRC.

The estimate is a drop of 35.7% from the figure recorded for March, but represented a 179.5% increase from April 2020.

For non-residential transactions, HMRC estimated that there were 10,160 transactions during April. This figure was 11.4% lower than March, but also 89.0% higher than April last year.

HMRC confirmed that its latest provisional estimates for residential transactions had captured the impacts from temporarily increased nil rate bands for Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) and Land Transaction Tax (LTT), following the announced extensions to the tax holiday at the Budget in March.

Commenting on the latest HMRC figures, more2life CEO, Dave Harris, said that the announcement of the SDLT extension had “undoubtedly added fuel to the fire that had started to cool”, due to the prospect of these fees being back on the table imminently.

“At the same time, the continued success of the UK’s vaccine rollout and the partial reopening of non-essential retail and hospitality will have also boosted consumer confidence and encouraged many buyers to push on with their purchases,” Harris highlighted.

Hope Capital CEO, Jonathan Sealey, added: “It will come as no surprise that last month’s figures should have dropped so sharply at almost 36% on March, given the rush to beat the stamp duty deadline that was driving activity all through the first quarter. With that deadline now looming on the horizon for the end of June it’s likely we will see the same pattern towards the end of Q2.

“Even bearing in mind the slide we’ve seen today, we are still a long way from those dark days 12 months ago. And going forward there are real signs of optimism more widely with extremely positive retail sales figures out today, and forecasts for growth revised upwards to suggest a much stronger recovery to come this year.

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