A month ago (8 July) Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a stamp duty holiday which saw the tax threshold on a property purchase in England and Northern Ireland rise from £125,000 to £500,000. The change, which took immediate effect and will last until 31 March 2021, will save buyers up to £15,000 on their purchase.
It seems as though the move has acted as a boost to the market. Buyer registrations (or applicants) between 8 July and 8 August were up 38% on the same period last year with demand especially high for properties in the £500,000 - £750,000 price bracket – up 92% year-on-year.
Buyer interest was greatest in Scotland (up 77% year-on-year) across all price bands, followed by the East of England (53%) and the South East (52%).
The move from the city to the country – a trend that began prior to the stamp duty holiday – has continued. Applicants registering to buy in country locations have risen the most at 49% compared with the same period last year. While demand in city locations has risen the least, albeit still up 20% year-on-year.
Of all buyer types, first-time purchasers saw the biggest increase in numbers. In London there were 55% more first-time buyer registrations compared to the same period a year ago and across the UK numbers were up 45%. Meanwhile investors have risen by 28% and second-home buyers by 22%.