Stamp duty is paralysing the housing market and costing the Treasury millions in lost revenue

Stamp duty is paralysing the housing market and costing the Treasury hundreds of millions in lost revenue. The number of property sales has fallen by up to 65 per cent in parts of the country as house-hunters baulk at the size of the taxman’s bill. The fall in transactions is now hitting Treasury coffers, with stamp duty receipts down 7.9 per cent so far this year. At that rate of decline, the total amount raised by the duty over the full year would fall by nearly £1.1billion, leaving the Treasury with less cash to pay for vital services. Stamp duty receipts hit a record £13.6billion last year but the market has now ground to a halt. Sales of expensive homes have been particularly sluggish. The taxman received £4.27billion from the duty between April and July, the first four months of the fiscal year, according to the Office for National Statistics. But that was £364million, or 7.9 per cent, less than in the same period last year. Other ONS figures show the number of property transactions in England fell 19.3 per cent in the year to this April.