HMRC’s latest statistics reveal that the number of UK property transactions is on the decline, but Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) receipts are still rising.
A £1.3bn increase in the year to the end of February has taken receipts to just over £13bn in the last 12 months.
However, tax advisory firm Blick Rothenberg says that the exemptions for first-time buyers are starting to have an effect, and it expects to see falls in the Treasury’s take from Stamp Duty.
Paul Haywood-Schiefer, assistant manager at tax advisers Blick Rothenberg, said: “The number of property transactions in the UK has declined, with 0.33% or 4,010 fewer transactions taking place in the last 12 months and with a decrease of 2.28% or 28,580 over the last two years.
“However, SDLT receipts are still rising, with a £1.3bn (11.55%) increase in the last 12 months.
“Much of that increase can be put down to the 3% surcharge on second and additional property purchases.”
He added: “The first-time buyer relief for those buying properties under £500,000 announced in the Autumn Budget is starting to show signs that some of the year on year receipts are going to be lower and we would expect to see this have a further impact on the receipts in the coming months.”
Frank Nash, partner at the firm, said: “Stamp Duty is a major hurdle for home-buyers, but seemingly not so for investors.
“An additional 3% added to the purchase of a buy-to-let property is peanuts when spread over the life of the investment.
“Investors will be cautious around rising interest rates and reduced margins, but Stamp Duty is not itself a deterrent for investing.”