Resi SDLT receipts rise offset by poor non-resi tax take

The number of residential stamp duty receipts grew 8 per cent in the second quarter of this year, government figures show.

However, a 19 per cent drop in non-residential receipts resulted in a 1 per cent quarterly fall in the total amount raised – £2,623m compared to last quarter’s £2,657m – itself a 19 per cent fall in the total amount received in the final quarter of 2018.

Further data shows that transactions increased by 6 per cent in Q1, to 267,900, while 52,600 of these claimed first-time buyers’ relief – making for 340,900 claims since it started, valued at £804m relieved.

Additional dwellings purchased by individuals and residential property purchased by non-individuals are required to pay the standard rate of SDLT plus a 3 per cent surcharge. It applies to purchases of second homes and buy-to-let properties. These rates, formally known as higher rates for additional dwellings (HRAD or ‘higher rates’) were introduced in April 2016.

HRAD transactions increased by 3 per cent, on a quarterly basis, totalling 52,700. More than half of these – 62 per cent – were under £250,000.

Imla executive director Kate Davies says: “Private landlords across the UK are under significant pressure from a layering of tax changes that includes the additional 3 per cent stamp duty surcharge on second homes.

“As these figures show, this levy continues to deter many buyers from entering this market and prevents small-scale landlords from investing to grow their portfolios.

“It is critical that the government puts the brakes on any further legislation that could restrict the private rental sector.”

With the era of Boris Johnson as prime minister starting last week, stamp duty has become something of a political issue, with calls for an overhaul mounting following Johnson’s rhetoric during his campaign to lead the country.

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