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Graham Awards


Stamp Duty slump is a pre-Budget blow for Chancellor

Stamp duty receipts dipped four per cent to £2.4 billion in Q3 of last year - no less than 25 per cent lower than the same period a year earlier.

HMRC data shows that the number of residential property transactions in the fourth quarter of 2023 was in total only one per cent down on the previous quarter although there was a larger dip in the transaction volumes of those homes specifically liable to SDLT.

The Revenue says that stamp duty applied to 89 per cent of all housing transactions in the final three months of last year - slightly below expectations.


Quilter mortgage expert Karen Noye says: “New data from HMRC shows that the end of 2023 witnessed a notable decrease in residential transactions, a trend attributed to the dampening effects of higher interest rates and a general sense of caution in the property market as a response to the cost-of-living crisis.   

“Higher rates made the prospect of buying a home less attainable for many, leading to an 18 per cent year-on-year decline in transactions by December 2023. The housing market has therefore been subdued, with activity slowing down considerably. This has had a knock-on impact on the amount of tax the government is taking in from stamp duty.    

“Reigniting the property market therefore might be something the government is keen to do and recent rumours of the return of 99 per cent mortgages could be its attempt to get more first-time buyers into the market which helps boost transactions further up the chain too.”  

And Evelyn Partners financial analyst Adrian Lowery claims: “Stamp duty transactions and revenues are distorted by regular tinkering with the stamp duty regime and by the vagaries of the property market, and have been up and down over the last few years.

“A flagging housing market and a sluggish electorate could well prompt the Chancellor to look at extending stamp duty reliefs at the spring Budget on March 6.   

“That could take the form of an extension to the thresholds at which stamp duty is paid, a reduction in the rate of stamp duty or another temporary stamp duty holiday. If Jeremy Hunt does not receive the good news he is hoping for on the public finances in the coming weeks, giving him the fiscal headroom he needs for a big giveaway on something like income tax, then it’s more likely he will look at relatively inexpensive cuts to more targeted levies like stamp duty or inheritance tax.” 

  • Kieran Ryan

    Well there is a quite obvious solution to the shortfall! reduce the level of Stamp Duty and you will see an increase by more people moving! This was proven in the pandemic! its not rocket science its a fact!!


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