Housing transactions crashed in volume during April, official new figures reveal.
The consequences of the Stamp Duty surcharge on April 1 have been laid bare in the latest ONS/Land Registry house price index.
The latest report for June reveals housing transactions for April – the most up to date month for which data is available.
It shows just how sharp a drop followed the rush to beat the April 1 Stamp Duty deadline.
Former Chancellor George Osborne introduced the 3% hike on purchases of all second homes, including buy-to-let properties.
Sales volumes in the UK dipped from 124,295 in March 2016 to 56,076 in April.
English regions saw falls of up to 70% as the table shows, led by London where volumes tumbled from 14,783 in March to 4,368 in April.
Some London boroughs had falls of more than 80%. For example, in Kensington and Chelsea there was an 88% drop in volume from 393 to 46 between March and April.
Transactions in Camden were down 73% from 365 to 95.
The smallest regional fall in England was in Yorkshire & Humber where volumes fell 48% between March and April.
Buying agent Henry Pryor took the opportunity to call on new chancellor Philip Hammond to sort out the mess, tweeting him to “wake up” and recognise that stamp duty is “killing the market.”
But Savills’ analyst Neal Hudson called for calm, saying: “Let’s not get over-excited by comparing April to the March SDLT spike in transactions.”
* See also our analysis in today’s news schedule