Latest HMRC figures confirm property market still sluggish since stamp duty changes

The latest figures from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) have revealed that Britain’s property market remains sluggish under the shadow of stamp duty changes and economic uncertainty.

HMRC reported that the number of homes sold in the UK last month had fallen by almost 14 per cent year-on-year.

May 2016 saw 84,300 completed transactions, in comparison with 97,820 homes sold in May 2015.

Experts believe that Chancellor George Osborne’s stamp duty changes for purchases of second homes and uncertainty surrounding today’s European Union (EU) Referendum have knocked buyers’ confidence across the country.

March 2016 was by far the busiest month in Britain’s property market this year, after landlords and investors rushed to beat the implementation of Osborne’s Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) changes – which saw second home buyers faced with an additional three per cent surcharge.

March saw sales peak at 171,220, representative of almost double last month’s disappointing figures.

“The large increase in transactions for March 2016 followed by the substantial reduction in April is likely to be associated with the introduction of the higher rates on additional properties in April 2016,” said an HMRC report.