Wales raises £226m from property taxes under devolution

In the first year of operation, Wales has collected over £200m from property taxes through a new land transaction tax, the equivalent of stamp duty land tax in England, with average payments under £3,000

The Welsh land transaction tax was introduced in April 2018, replacing the equivalent stamp duty land tax, and was part of the devolution of Welsh taxes, which included some controls over income tax with a Welsh tax code.

There was a total of 61,750 transactions for land transaction tax in 2018/19, totalling £226.9m, mainly reflecting residential transactions, with £59.1m attributed to higher rate taxes, including for second home purchases and buy-to lets.

Total non-residential transactions were £72.5m, representing just over a third of tax take, showed Welsh Revenue Authority (WRA) figures.

The figures also highlight the impact of buy-to-let and second and holiday home purchases, with certain areas of Wales recording higher sales activity.

For example, higher rate transactions, as a percentage of all residential transactions, were impacted by geographic location, with 37% of these purchases taking place in Gwynedd, the county which includes much of Snowdonia National Park, Bangor University and the scenic Llŷn Peninsula.

Given the average property value per residential transaction was £180,000, the largest amount of tax was raised in Monmouthshire, with a £6,640 bill on average per residential transaction, followed by Vale of Glamorgan at £5,090, Isle of Anglesey and Cardiff. This compared with the Wales average LTT payment of £2,780.

Adam Al-Nuaimi, head of data and analysis for the WRA, said: ‘The interesting feature of this release is that we have local area data for the Land Transaction Tax for the first time. The variation in the data between local authorities can be readily seen in both residential and non-residential statistics.

‘We have also been able to further develop the residential dataset to include figures at an Assembly constituency level and for areas of deprivation, as measured by the Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation. In years to come, we hope to be able to provide similar data on non-residential transactions.’

Dyfed Alsop, chief executive of the WRA, said: ‘These statistics relate to our first operating year, collecting and managing land transaction tax.

‘As a data-driven organisation, we want to learn from these data to improve our services for taxpayers in future. We believe data is central to the approach we’re taking to tax, which involves supporting people to pay the right amount of tax at the right time.’ 

The WRA was established as a tax authority in October 2017 and was the first non-ministerial department of Welsh Government.

Sara White

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