Annual property sales crash 40% after Government’s Stamp Duty hike

The number of UK residential property transactions dropped by 40% annually in March 2017, skewed by last year’s Stamp Duty rush.

HMRC’s UK property transaction statistics for March this year showed 102,740 sales during the month, compared with 173,860 for the same month last year.

March last year was characterised by a stampede to complete purchases before Stamp Duty on the purchase of second or more properties was hiked by 3% on April 1.

This year’s March figure was still up 20% on a monthly basis from February and 12% more than in March two years ago when there were 91,490 transactions.

On a seasonally adjusted basis there were 102,810 transactions in March 2017, also around 40% lower than 12 months ago as these figures typically fall in line with the non-seasonally adjusted number.

Matt Robinson, of online agent Nested, said: “These figures show a property market that remains stubbornly flat. Now that we have a General Election around the corner, many will be worried that a fresh dose of uncertainty could take the wind out of the market’s sales.

“However there’s a much bigger picture here that politicians need to address – we have a broken housing market, where young people struggle to afford a deposit and where moving home is an expensive and deeply frustrating process that nobody relishes.

“But it doesn’t have to be this way. The election is a golden opportunity for all sides to spell out how they can make it easier for people to move and get on the ladder.”

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Written by: Houseladder