Business

House sales in Northern Ireland dip 37 per cent after stamp duty deadline

The latest HMRC data showed a 37 per cent drop in house sales in the north between June and July.

HOME sales fell by more than a third across the north last month as activity cooled after the end of the full stamp duty holiday, new figures have shown.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) said an estimated 2,420 residential property sales took place in Northern Ireland during July, down 37 per cent on the 14-year high recorded in June.

June 2021 marked the busiest single month for the north’s housing market since June 2007, with 3,860 sales recorded, more than three times the number sold in June 2020.

While July’s performance returned to the similar numbers recorded during April and May this year, it still marked the most busiest July since 2007.

HMRC said, that following last month's stamp duty deadline, "an expected but noticeable decrease has been observed within provisional July 2021 UK residential transactions statistics".

Buyers in both Northern Ireland and England raced to complete purchases before the temporarily increased "nil rate" band to £500,000 for residential stamp duty land tax (SDLT) ended on June 30.

This relief has since been tapered to £250,000 and the nil rate band is set to revert back to £125,000 on September 30.

Home sales in Northern Ireland during July still remained 12 per cent higher than July 2019,

Ulster Bank’s chief economist Richard Ramsey said the 19,730 residential sales recorded by HMRC for the first seven months of 2021 was double the number recorded during the same period in 2020, and 31 per cent higher than in 2019.

However, he said it remained well below the heights of the 2006 and 2007 property boom in the north.

Some 27,380 homes were sold between January and July 2006, with 25,750 sold in the same period in 2007.

The economist said 2021 is likely to be a high water mark for house sales.

The July HMRC data follows last week’s house price index from the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (Nisra).

It found the average price of a house in the north was nine per cent up on last year, with the average home selling for an estimated £153,449.

Prices across Northern Ireland rose 2.9 per cent between the first and second quarters of the 2021.

The Causeway Coast and Glens area saw the greatest acceleration in prices, with homes selling for 16.9 per cent higher in 2021 compared to 2020.

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