However, there is little indication that investors used their savings from the holiday to buy bigger properties in more expensive areas. Instead, 83% of investor purchases were under £250,000, meaning their savings from the holiday were significantly smaller than those enjoyed by home movers. It also means that investors have been less sensitive to the change in the nil-rate stamp duty threshold since they tend to buy cheaper properties.
During the holiday the average price paid by a landlord rose by just 1% to £181,000, despite house price growth of 10% over the same period. This suggests landlords were happy to pocket the tax saving rather than use it to buy a property that would generate more rent.
Stamp duty holidays have traditionally been an expensive giveaway for the chancellor. They have often been deployed to jump-start the toughest markets in the months and years following big economic downturns. However, despite fewer people paying stamp duty than ever before, this holiday will go down as one of the cheapest giveaways for the treasury in history as buyers paying the 3% surcharge have kept revenues up above 2019 times.
It is likely, that over the course of the stamp duty holiday, those paying the 3% surcharge will have contributed close to half of all residential stamp duty receipts. But our calculations show that only around half of people paying the 3% surcharge are buy-to-let investors, with the other half made up of second home purchasers or those buying a primary residence without selling their old one.