New data from HM Revenue and Customs shows massive drop in number of properties sold in April compared to March
Property sales in April have dropped 45% compared to March according to HMRC due to changes in stamp duty tax where 2nd properties now incur and extra 3% charge.
March saw a rush in property buying as landlords flooded in to complete sales before the new tax went live. 94,370 properties changed hands in April, down from the record high of 164,400 transactions in March. April sales were the lowest in 3 years and compared to the previous April was 14.5% down.
Doug Crawford, chief executive of My Home Move, said: “Transaction figures are likely to be subdued over the next few months as a result of the rush on buy to let purchases in the first quarter and caution caused by the looming referendum.
“While house prices are high, buyers who can raise a deposit have been given a boost by extremely attractive mortgage rates which support borrowing. There are also signs of solid improvement in lending to first time buyers, such as growth in high loan-to-value mortgages available.”
David Brown, chief executive of Marsh and Parsons, maintained a positive outlook, saying: “April almost marks a fresh start.”
He added: “After most peaks comes a corresponding trough – and with home sales front-loaded into the start of the year, we’re seeing a natural and understandable calming.
“The goalposts simply changed overnight, making it incomparable to an extremely hectic March, which was characterised by unparalleled activity from second home owners and buy-to-let investors rushing through completions.”