Coventry Building Society calls for Stamp Duty reform as property transactions drop to four year low

Coventry Building Society has called for Stamp Duty reform as residential property transactions slumped to a four year low in the first quarter of 2024, according to analysis of the latest HMRC figures.

Since January there have been 192,500 property transactions, which is the first time the number has dipped below 200,000 since the second quarter of 2020.

This was right before the temporary Stamp Duty holiday was introduced in July 2020.

Prior to 2020, residential property transactions had not dipped below 200,000 since the second quarter of 2011.

Since records started in 2008, there have only been right (out of 64) quarters where residential property transactions have been below 200,000.

Jonathan Stinton, head of intermediary relationships at Coventry Building Society, said: “The first part of the year tends to be quieter for property transactions, but this year has been an especially slow start.

“The number of people moving home was always expected to drop once the Stamp Duty holiday in 2020-21 was over, but the number has kept on dropping and now we’re back to 2011 levels.

“Making the right changes to Stamp Duty could oil the wheels of the market, but it needs to be a carefully considered reform aimed at building long term stability rather than a sudden sharp boost in numbers.

“Temporary holidays and simplistic cuts are mainly short-term fixes which don’t necessarily help buyers years down the line. The challenge is to get creative because the same old tinkering around the edges won’t stand the test of time.”