June breaks all records as homebuyers race to beat SDLT deadline

Property sales: Highest month on record

There were more property transactions in June than in any month on record, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) revealed today.

The quarterly total was also the highest since the 2008 financial crash as homebuyers rushed to beat the stamp duty land tax (SDLT) holiday deadline on 30 June.

Provisional HMRC statistics said there were 213,120 residential property transactions in June alone, nearly 100,000 more than in any June in the past decade (118,090 in 2017) and the highest figure for a single month since it began collecting the statistics in 2005.

June 2020 saw only 67,430 transactions with the country just out of the first lockdown.

March 2020, with lockdown looming, saw 174,060 transactions but otherwise the highest single months since 2005 were March 2016 (171,370) – when there were also stamp duty changes – and June 2006 (162,970).

The estimate of 428,620 transactions between April and June 2021 is the highest second quarter total since 2005, and the highest quarterly total since the third quarter of 2007 (442,930).

The £500,000 nil-rate band for SDLT ended on 30 June, since when it is £250,000, double its standard level, until the end of September.

Adam Forshaw, managing director of leading conveyancing firm O’Neill Patient, said the figures confirmed “what all of us working through the last six months were well aware of – it has been a period of intense pressure on the conveyancing sector”.

He continued: “While we expected the figures for June to outstrip all previous records… what we have seen since the cut off is that demand is still high.

“As yet we’ve not seen a significant drop off and in fact the re-mortgage market is showing real signs of strength.

“It is testament to the sheer hard work, professionalism and collaboration by all involved in the property industry over the last few months that we have not seen the nightmare of transactions falling through or being renegotiated, with all the implications that has for homebuyers in their property chains.”

HMRC said the figures were based upon incomplete data as not all tax returns from completed transactions during June will have been received when they were compiled. The figures will be revised in the coming months.

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