The total number of Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) transactions in Q3 2020 was up 68% on Q2, according to HMRC’s quarterly Stamp Duty Land Tax Statistics.

This was attributed to the easing of COVID-19 lockdown measures and the introduction of the stamp duty holiday.

Rob Barnard, director of intermediaries at Masthaven, said: “The latest statistics from HMRC revealing an increase in Stamp Duty Land Tax transactions in Q3 are unsurprising after the total shut down of the housing market in the previous quarter.

mortgage search uptick

Conveyancing volumes increased by 105% in Q3

“This summer saw a ‘mini boom’ in the housing market and a bounce back from lockdown that few could have predicted.

“Undoubtedly, the revitalisation of the housing sector can be largely attributed to homebuyers looking to take advantage of the stamp duty holiday.”

However, the total number of SDLT transactions in Q2 2020, was down 18% year-on-year.

Residential property transactions in Q3 2020 were 72% higher than in Q2 2020, although 18% lower than in Q3 2019.

Looking to non-residential property transactions, Q3 2020 noted a 38% uplift on a quarterly basis, however, an 18% drop on Q3 2019.

Since the introduction of first-time buyers’ relief, there have been 568,000 claims that have benefited, and the total amount relieved by these claims was £1.3bn.

Furthermore, 91% of all SDLT transactions in Q3 2020 were for residential properties, the same percentage seen in Q3 2019.

Barnard added: “With with the deadline for stamp duty break fast approaching, it’s vital for people looking to move home to act now if they want to benefit from the initiative.

“With buyers in need of fast transactions and the mortgage market under pressure, specialist lenders can offer tailored, short-term solutions that meet these requirements, such as bridging loans.

“Specialist lenders and mortgage brokers need to work together over the coming quarter to ensure housing transactions can be completed within the deadline and explore alternative forms of borrowing that can help individuals achieve their home ownership dreams.”

Andy Sommerville, director at Search Acumen, said: This latest data reveals the scale of demand that has surged into the property market.

“[Larger] homes are experiencing a sharp inflow in buyer interest, mainly driven by the rapid adoption of remote working and shifts in work life balances prompting consumers to reassess their housing needs.

“Digital innovation has been vital to the property market’s recovery under COVID-19. This energy needs to be harnessed by everyone to improve data consumption and adoption of digital practices.

“With local authorities continuing to close, this will be crucial to keep transactions progressing and helping conveyancers, lenders and brokers make efficiency gains that ultimately benefit clients.”