The return of Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) to pre-pandemic rates on 1 October 2021 has done little to deter buyers. Between then and March 31 this year, £679m of this was paid by new home owners. Almost two-thirds of it was in London.
Comparing the number of property sales over the period to the number of properties in each location in the UK’s 100 largest cities, data from legal technology specialist Access Legal showed that property market activity was strongest in Norwich.
This was based on sales in the first six months following the return of pre-pandemic SDLT rates, which the government suspended to help boost the property market.
During this six-month period, Norwich saw one property transaction for every 52 available, closely followed Nottingham (52.1) and then Lincoln from 56.2. Other areas that made it into the top ten busiest places are: Bristol – 61.4, Preston – 61.8, Stoke-on-Trent – 67.8, Reading – 74.1, Manchester – 74.6, Newcastle – 76.5 and Blackpool – 77.0
The study also found that London property buyers paid more than £440 million in stamp duty over the six months, with an estimated £679 million coming into the coffers of the 100 locations featured in the study.
it was seen that across the country, people who already owned a property paid an average of £5,241, while first-time buyers paid £2,291.
However, buyers in some of the most desirable parts of the UK forked out more than £20,000 in SDLT over the same period.
The ten cities that contributed the most to SDLT are:
London £442,379,424, Bristol £19,121,952, Reading £9,798,000, Cambridge £7,694,280, St Albans £7,679,106, Oxford £7,172,928,
Woking £6,984,884, Brighton £6,451,536, Slough £5,861,553, Bath £5,420,129.
At the other end of the scale, buyers in Blackpool, Hartlepool and Bradford paid just a few hundred pounds for sales completed after the end of the stamp duty holiday, while first-time buyers paid nothing.
Places with the lowest average SDLT payment included: Blackpool – £341, Hull – £623, Sunderland – £745, Middlesbrough – £766, Barnsley – £777, Blackburn – £830, Rotherham – £985 and Rochdale – £ 1227.
Mike Connelly, director of Legal Bricks software provider Access Legal, said: “This research shows that even after the end of last year’s SDLT holidays, demand for housing remains strong in some parts of the UK.
“We all know that buyers pay more to live in the South East, particularly in London, but the figures show how much they pay in stamp duty alone compared to people in other parts of the country.
“First-time buyers in particular, who will also have to pay thousands of pounds in SDLT, will see a real dent in their deposits or have to borrow more on their mortgage to pay it.”
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