House sales drop dramatically after stamp duty holiday ends

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26 Nov 2021

House sales in the UK plummeted by more than half in October after the stamp duty holiday ended.

There were nearly 77,000 transactions in the UK during October, a 52% fall compared to September, according to HMRC statistics.

HMRC says this was down to buyers pushing through purchases before 30 September to meet the stamp duty holiday deadline. 

The tax break was introduced in July 2020 by Chancellor Rishi Sunak. Homebuyers did not pay stamp duty on purchases up to £500,000 between July 2020 and the end of June 2021, which cut bills by up to £15,000. After that it was tapered down before going back to normal levels at the end of September. 

Iain McKenzie, CEO of the Guild of Property Professionals, said: 'A sharp drop in property transactions in October suggests that forestalling from September has caught up with the property market.

'While transaction numbers may be lower now the stamp duty holiday has ended, the fact that the demand for properties currently far outstrips supply means that prices are likely to keep rising.

'At a time when there is often a rush to get moved in before the festivities commence, we should expect that sales will continue to be steady in the run-up to Christmas.'