23% fewer new homeowners purchased their first property by taking advantage of the stamp duty exemption
Stamp duty land tax receipts in the first three months of 2019 were down by more than quarter compared with the same period last year.
According to the research by London Central Portfolio (LCP), stamp duty receipts across England, Wales and Northern Ireland fell by 26.2% between Q1 2018 and Q1 2019 to just £1.75bn.
Additionally, LCP found that the number of first-time buyers using the relief saw its first decline since the exemption was introduced.
Some 46,800 first-time buyers claimed stamp duty relief on their property purchase in the first three months of 2019, 23.0% fewer than the same period last year.
Overall property transactions across England, Wales and Northern Ireland likewise declined by 21.4% to 237,240.
Tax receipts from the additional 3% stamp duty surcharge on buy-to-lets and additional properties similarly fell to just £372m, a drop of 24.6%.
Naomi Heaton, Chief Executive of LCP, said: “The HMRC’s latest release does not bring with it good news. With the recent extension to the UK’s departure from the EU, it is unlikely that we will see any material change to the status quo until our politicians can start pulling in the same direction, whichever way that might be.”
“Seasonality will have played a part as it traditionally takes a few weeks for buyers and sellers to get going after the festive period. However, there is no doubt which external force is having the most destructive impact on the UK housing market, and that is Brexit.”
She added: “Since our last report, the chancellor confirmed his intention to introduce an additional 1% levy on purchases for overseas buyers.
“One would have thought that with Brexit looming he would be doing everything within his power to emphasise the fact the UK is open for business to the overseas investor.”
Separate research by Housesimple suggests that the delay to Brexit gave a boost to new property listings in April.