The return of Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) to pre-pandemic rates on October 1, 2021, did little to put buyers off. Between then and March 31 this year, £679 million of it was paid by new homeowners. Almost two-thirds of this was in London.
By comparing the number of property sales during this period with the number of properties in each location across the UK’s 100 largest towns and cities, the data from law technology specialist Access Legal, revealed that property market activity was busiest in Norwich.
This was based on sales during the first six months since the return of pre-pandemic SDLT rates, which had been on pause by the government to help boost the property market.
During this six month period, Norwich had one property transaction for every 52 available, followed closely by Nottingham (52.1) and then Lincoln with 56.2. Other areas to make the ten busiest locations were: Bristol – 61.4, Preston – 61.8, Stoke-on-Trent – 67.8, Reading – 74.1, Manchester – 74.6, Newcastle – 76.5 and Blackpool – 77.0
The research also found that property buyers in London paid more than £440 million in Stamp Duty during this six month period, with an estimated £679 million generated for the treasury by the 100 locations featured in this research.
it was seen that across the country, people who already owned a property paid an average of £5,241 while first-time buyers paid £2,291.
However, buyers in some of the most desirable parts of the UK forked out more than £20,000 in SDLT during the same period.
The ten towns and cities that generated the most in SDLT were:
London £442,379,424, Bristol £19,121,952, Reading £9,798,000, Cambridge £7,694,280, St Albans £7,679,106, Oxford £7,172,928,
Woking £6,984,884, Brighton £6,451,536, Slough £5,861,553, Bath £5,420,129.
At the other end of the scale, buyers in Blackpool, Hartlepool and Bradford paid just a few hundred pounds on sales completed after the stamp duty holiday ended, while first-time buyers paid nothing.
Places where average SDLT paid was lowest included: Blackpool – £341, Hull – £623, Sunderland – £745, Middlesbrough – £766, Barnsley – £777, Blackburn – £830, Rotherham – £985, and Rochdale – £1,227.
Mike Connelly, director of conveyancing software provider Legal Bricks, an Access Legal company, said: “This research suggests that even with the SDLT holiday ending last year, demand for housing in some parts of the UK remains high.
“We all know that buyers pay a premium to live in the South East, especially London, but the figures show how much they’re paying in stamp duty tax alone compared to people in other parts of the country.
“First-time buyers, in particular, who also have to pay thousands of pounds in SDLT, will see a real dent in their deposits, or have to borrow more on their mortgage to pay it.”