Stamp duty receipts total £5.7bn between April and July

Overall receipts for Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) between April and July hit £5.7bn, according to new data published by HMRC.

The total is £2.2bn higher than in the same period last year.

HMRC reported lower receipts in the tax year April 2020 to March 2021 as result of a fall in property sales and market uncertainties surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to the introduction of the stamp duty holiday in 2020.

July 2021 represented the second highest month for receipts from both SDLT and Shares, after March 2021, and July was also highest month for SDLT receipts alone.

HMRC suggested this was down to the exceptional high number of transactions following the tapering of the residential stamp duty holiday, when the tax-free rate fell from no tax on the first £500,000 up to 30 June, down to no tax on the first £250,000 from 1 July.

Comment on the data, Quilter mortgage expert, Charlotte Nixon, said the figures highlight that a large number of homebuyers were “gunning for their completion” prior to the stamp duty holiday being rescinded, but missed the deadline and faced a large and unexpected tax bill.

“Homebuyers were likely left frustrated, particularly as they may have already been pushing themselves to their limits having removed the cost of stamp duty from their calculations,” Nixon commented.

“The 14-day payment window meant that those who completed in late June and may have considered themselves safely within the stamp duty holiday window would have been left not only paying the already inflated cost of their new home, but having to scrape the barrel to pay for unexpected stamp duty costs too.

“We may see these receipts fall throughout the rest of the year as the lure of the stamp duty holiday is no more. We have started to see mortgage borrowing cooling off and house prices slowly beginning to fall following the scheme’s completion, but it is likely to be a long while before the housing market returns to pre-pandemic norms.”

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