Fewer buyers than expected helped by stamp duty holiday

The Government’s stamp-duty holiday on properties sold for less than £175,000 has not helped nearly as many homeowners as first predicted.

Figures obtained by property website zoopla.co.uk show that in the first 12 months of the holiday until 1 September, buyers saved just £173m compared with the £600m predicted by the Government.

A combination of factors lies behind the disparity. First-time buyers – the most likely to benefit from the holiday – have found it hard to get mortgages due to tight lending criteria. Transaction levels have also been lower than normal across the whole market with a shortage of properties to buy.