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New data shows 'the extent of the fall in property transactions'

Property transactions unsurprisingly slumped in April amid the lockdown restrictions imposed to contain the spread of the Covid-19 outbreak.

The latest HMRC data shows that there were 46, 440 residential property transactions in April 2020, which is down 46.1% compared with a month earlier. 

Property transactions in April were 53.4% lower than in the same month last year, as reflected by the government’s monthly tax revenue statistics.  

Sean Randall, a partner at tax and advisory firm Blick Rothenberg, commented: “The statistics released shows the extent of the fall in property transactions during the full month of April and its impact to the Exchequer. 

“In April, there were just over 38,000 completions over £40,000 compared to almost 90,000 in the same month last year and 86,000 in March this year. Already, taking into account just one month of lockdown, the stamp duty revenue for the 12-month period ending last month has fallen by 6.32% compared to the same period last year.”

He added: “ Our experience is that sector activity seems to be increasing, albeit from a low base, but we expect the drop in revenue for the 12-month period ending next month to be even greater. If that is right, pressure will surely build on the government in the run-in to the autumn Budget for some type of stamp duty stimulus to lift the handbrake for a temporary period.”

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