Official statistics published by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) show that residential stamp duty land tax (SDLT) receipts have risen by 17% nationwide, despite an 8% drop in the number of transactions, leading to an increase of 12% in the average SDLT collected per residential transaction to £7,900. 

With official statistics finding that the average value of residential transactions only increased marginally from £272,000 to £275,000 in 2016/17, the larger SDLT receipts reflect the buoyancy of the residential market in the face of the SDLT surcharge of 3% on additional properties. Expectations that SDLT revenue paid on more expensive homes would fall has so far been proved wrong.  

Unsurprisingly, London continues to be a large contributor to SDLT receipts, with a whopping 6% of all such receipts coming from the City of Westminster alone.  

Given the robustness of these figures, and continuing attraction of SDLT as a good revenue raiser for HM Treasury, the chances of any material reductions or reliefs from SDLT in the Autumn Budget may be limited. In the absence any material shift in the demand / supply imbalance in the South East, reliefs targeted at first time buyers there might have little impact on the overall cost of buying a home.