Zoopla has crunched the numbers for the continuing stamp duty holiday in England and Northern Ireland, calculating 500,000 buyers will have benefitted from it before the curtain falls in late September.
The portal says housing markets across the north of England are in pole position to benefit most. Over two thirds of properties currently for sale in the North East, North West, and Yorkshire and Humberside fall under the £250,000 stamp duty threshold, meaning that buyers in these regions have more opportunity than anywhere else in the country to buy tax-free before the end of September.
Across England, Zoopla estimates that there are currently around 130,000 homes for sale that will attract no stamp duty until the end of September, amounting to a potential stamp duty saving of £123m which will only increase as more properties are listed for sale.
Overall, Zoopla anticipates that more than half a million buyers this year will benefit from some level of stamp duty relief.
The portal adds that there was an 80 per cent spike in buyer demand for property compared around the time of this month’s Budget when compared to the four year average.
Sales agreed are up 5.3 per cent now compared to the same period in 2020, while the average time to sell a property in the UK has fallen by nearly a week across the UK excluding London, down from 50 days in 2020 to 44 days now.
In contrast, London is the only region in the UK where properties are taking slightly longer to sell; that's considered a reflection on the strength with which the market bounced back in early 2020 in the aftermath of the General Election, but also signals the impact of Covid-19 on London’s residential market, particularly in central parts.
The North East and the North West have recorded the highest reduction in time to sell on a regional level, falling by 17 days and 12 days respectively. At the same time, the North West and Yorkshire and the Humber are the fastest moving markets in the UK, with sales agreed on properties in an average of just 38 days from the point of listing.