In this page
We (the WRA) present these statistics on LTT transactions that we have received by 20 June 2022.
For the main points from our local authority statistics, please see the beginning of section 8 in this release. Also, please see section 9 of this release for analysis of LTT statistics by the level of deprivation. This analysis uses the Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation (WIMD).
Figure 1.1 below shows:
- quarterly estimates for April 2021 to March 2022
- the percentage change against previous estimates for April 2019 to March 2020 (made in June 2020)
We explain why these comparisons are made in section 1 of this release (‘Comparisons with the same period a year earlier’). In this edition of the release, comparisons would be usually made against estimates for April 2020 to March 2021. However, we don’t recommend this comparison due to complex effects of coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions and changes to tax rates.
|Transaction type||April 2021 to March 2022 (p)||% change (compared with April 2019 to March 2020) |
|Of which: higher rates residential||14,370||6%|
|All transactions ||68,810||12%|
|Tax due (£ millions)|
|Of which: Additional revenue from higher rates ||103.9||63%|
|All transactions ||414.3||77%|
 Values in this table have been rounded to the nearest 10 transactions and the nearest £0.1 million for tax due.
 Please note that this table excludes any tax due from the additional transactions shown in Figure 1.2.
 The category ‘non-residential’ includes properties that are not wholly residential (namely, those which have both residential and commercial elements).
 The total presented has been calculated based on the unrounded values.
 Please note this item only includes the additional revenue from higher rate transactions. This item does not include the main rate component of higher rate transactions.
 Estimates for April 2019 to March 2020 were made in June 2020.
(p) The value is provisional and will be revised in a future publication.
|Additional transactions which were untypically large ||[z]||28.2||[z]||[z]|
|Additional transactions with restricted detail (to protect confidentiality) ||[z]||2||0||1|
 ‘Untypically large transactions’ in 2019-20 entirely consists of a small number of public sector transactions. These transactions relate to Transport for Wales’ purchase from Network Rail of the Core Valley Line rail asset in Wales. Details of these transactions are presented here to aid transparency of this large public sector transaction, with agreement of the buyer (Transport for Wales) and seller (Network Rail). Further information on these transactions is available from the Transport for Wales website.
 For some transactions, we are unable to provide any information other than the total tax due figure in the year, as there is a risk of revealing details of the individual transactions. These are rounded to the nearest million pounds for additional protection. They should only be included if seeking a value for total LTT revenue in the year.
[z] Not applicable.
Comparing April 2021 to March 2022 on a like-for-like basis with April 2019 to March 2020:
- all transactions rose by 12% while tax due on those transactions increased by 77%
- residential transactions and tax due on those transactions increased by 13% and 71% respectively
- higher rates transactions rose by 6%
- additional revenue from higher rates residential transactions rose by 63%, although this comparison should be treated with some caution. For further information, please see the section of the release ‘Effects of coronavirus (COVID-19) and changes to LTT rates’
- non-residential transactions increased by 8%. Tax due from non-residential transactions increased by 91%
These comparisons exclude the additional transactions presented in Figure 1.2 above. The values in Figure 1.2 should only be used if seeking a value for total LTT revenue in the year.
There has been a strong recovery in residential transactions and revenues since summer 2020, and the number of residential transactions in the last 2 years has now reached very similar levels to those seen in the 2 years prior to March 2020. The increases in residential revenues have largely been driven by increases in property values, and to a lesser extent, by the 1% increase to all higher rate bands introduced from 22 December 2020.
Non-residential revenues have also seen a strong recovery since summer 2020. In nearly 3 years from April 2018 to February 2021, monthly non-residential revenues reached between £8 million and £10 million on only five occasions. However, from March 2021 onwards, non-residential revenues exceeded £8 million every month (except May 2021). It is possible that a changing pattern of transactions during the COVID-19 recovery is contributing to this trend. For example, there is evidence of slightly higher numbers of outright purchases of non-residential property, as compared with new leases. Purchases tend to generate more revenue than leases but it is still unclear what impact this may have on future revenues. We will continue to monitor these trends in future.
Effects of coronavirus (COVID-19) and changes to LTT rates
The data in this release should be considered in the context of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This had a significant impact on the number of property transactions and tax due, particularly during the early months of the pandemic.
The national restrictions imposed on 23 March 2020 resulted in the housing market being mainly closed until it was partially re-opened on 22 June 2020. At that point, house viewings could take place in vacant properties along with house moves where a sale had been agreed but not yet completed. The market was then more fully opened on 27 July 2020 to coincide with a change in LTT rates on that date, at that time effective until 31 March 2021. On 3 March 2021, it was announced that the temporary tax reduction period would be extended by 3 months, to 30 June 2021.
Although there were further local and national restrictions introduced since the initial changes to LTT rates in July 2020, these appear to have had limited impact on transaction counts.
There were further changes to LTT rates effective from 22 December 2020. These changes required us to edit to our non-residential data tables, introducing a more granular split of lower value tax bands.
Please note that some higher rates residential and non-residential transactions effective in December 2020 will have been charged at pre 22 December rates, and some at the post 22 December rates. We estimate around 100 higher rates and 10 non-residential transactions within those December 2020 data were charged at the post 22 December rates.
Impact of LTT rate changes
It is not possible to isolate the impact of the LTT rate changes from the general recovery that is likely to have occurred due to easing of coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions. However, on a per transaction basis, we can quantify the impact.
The first rate change introduced on 27 July 2020 only applied to residential transactions at the main rate. The rates for all residential transactions at the higher rate and non-residential transactions were unchanged. For these main rate transactions, the threshold at which LTT rates was charged was raised from £180,000 to £250,000, so that the tax on all those with a value of £250,000 or less was reduced to zero. Although the LTT rates on property values above £250,000 were unchanged, those main rate transactions also benefitted from the increased threshold on the first £250,000 of their value. In these cases, LTT is reduced by £2,450 compared with that which would have been charged previously. This change was reversed after 30 June 2021, on which date temporary tax reduction period came to an end.
The second rate change from 22 December 2020 introduced the following and continues to apply:
- an increase of 1% across all bands for the higher residential rates of tax
- for non-residential transactions, the zero-rate band charged for lease premiums and assignments, and freehold property transfers increased from £150,000 to £225,000
- the zero-rate band of the tax charged on the rent element of non-residential leases increased from £150,000 to £225,000
The combined impact of the pandemic and the first rate change can be seen in Figure 2.1. There was an initial sharp drop in April and May 2020 and a steady recovery in numbers of residential and non-residential transactions since. There were 2,140 residential and non-residential transactions effective in April 2020, which was just under half of the number seen in April 2019. The recovery in the property market that followed saw residential transactions increase but remaining below the levels of 2019-20, until the end of September 2020. Between October 2020 and November 2021 numbers were higher than in the same months of previous years apart from January 2021 when they were below, representing the recovery referred to above. Since December 2021, numbers have been below those compared to the same month in the previous year.
Unlike in the first set of national COVID-19 restrictions introduced in March 2020, the property market was largely allowed to continue in the 2-week restrictions at end October 2020 and the further restrictions introduced from 20 December 2020. The dampening in property transactions seen in the first set of restrictions in March 2020 was not observed during those later restrictions introduced more recently.
Figure 2.1 shows a sharp rise in the weekly number of transactions submitted at the end of June 2021, coinciding with the end of the temporary tax reduction period. This was followed by a return to more usual weekly levels of transactions submitted from early July 2021.
1. About these statistics
Introduction of LTT
From 1 April 2018, LTT replaced Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) on residential and non-residential property and land interests purchased in Wales. The tax rates and tax bands for LTT vary depending on the type of transaction.
LTT statistics are not fully comparable to previous SDLT statistics. This is because different rates and bands are used in LTT. The reliefs may also be different for the 2 taxes. For example, first time buyers’ relief applies to SDLT but not to LTT.
Value of LTT statistics
Timely information on activity in the property market is important for policy makers. When filing an LTT return about a property transaction, the organisation paying the return has 30 days after the effective date to submit and pay any tax due. Therefore, LTT statistics are relatively timely.
Forecasting LTT revenues for Wales in future is an important use of LTT statistics. The Office for Budget Responsibility produce LTT forecasts to coincide with Welsh Government and UK Government budgets.
Article explaining our local area statistics and how to use statistics on the higher rates of LTT
We encourage users of our statistics to read the article explaining our local area statistics and how to use statistics on the higher rates of LTT. Higher rates is a complex area of LTT and can be mis-interpreted. The article is intended to support users of our statistics on how to interpret this data.
Data available for LTT
All of the data used in this statistical release is available in a spreadsheet on the headline statistics page.
Alongside this annual release, we publish geographic datasets for LTT on the StatsWales website. This includes annual data by:
- local authority
- Senedd constituency (residential transactions only)
- level of deprivation, using the Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation (residential transactions only)
- built up areas (residential transactions only)
- National Parks (residential transactions only)
We provide links to the relevant StatsWales datasets throughout this release.
Timing of and revisions to LTT statistics
In our statistical output policy, we explain the timing of LTT statistics. In this release, we present provisional estimates for May 2022 and revised estimates for periods before this. We will revise the provisional data in future. Not all tax returns for these periods may yet have been received.
In future, we may continue to revise statistics for earlier periods to account for any amendments to transactions and new tax returns received. Reasons for this include:
- higher rate refunds being made for several years after the date of the original transaction
- taxpayers mistakenly sending tax returns to HMRC which relate to Welsh property transactions. Once the error is realised, it can take some time for the taxpayer to send the return correctly to the WRA
Comparisons with the same period a year earlier
There can be seasonal patterns in the property market, with higher levels of activity generally seen in the summer and autumn, and lower levels in winter and spring. It can then be helpful to compare the current period (April 2021 to March 2022) with data for the same period in previous years. However, the trends in 2020-21 have been particularly affected by LTT rate changes. It is therefore more appropriate to compare the current period against April 2019 to March 2020 (than against April 2020 to March 2021).
It should be noted that in each edition of our LTT statistics, we are gradually revising downwards the tax due for earlier periods. This is because of higher rate refunds being paid out in each month (for higher rates residential transactions which were effective in earlier periods, back to April 2018).
The value for April 2019 to March 2020 will have already been subject to some of this downward revision, whereas the equivalent figure for April 2021 to March 2022 will not yet.
Therefore in this release, we compare:
- April 2021 to March 2022 data; and
- our previous estimates for April 2019 to March 2020 (which we published in June 2020)
All comparisons should be considered in light of the effects of coronavirus (COVID-19) and changes to LTT rates.
Key quality information and glossary pages
- We define relevant terms in the glossary as they are used in this release.
- On the key quality information page, we describe how Land Transaction Tax statistics meet the Code of Practice for Statistics and the dimensions of value, trustworthiness and quality.
Pre-release access to our statistics
We publish the list of posts which have pre-release access to our statistics, including for LTT.
Properties or land sold more than once
These statistics relate to transactions which were effective in particular month, quarter or year. A property or piece of land may have been sold more than once in that time. If so, it would feature multiple times in the statistics.
For example, in April 2021 to March 2022, our best estimate is that between 3% and 4% of transactions involved a piece of land or property which has been sold more than once in the year.
2. Transactions, tax due and property value taxed
In March 2020, we released an update on publishing WRA statistics due to coronavirus (COVID-19). We stated then that in our releases for LTT, we would look at any potential impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19) on our statistics.
To understand the impacts on number of transactions, tax due and value of property taxed, users should refer to the section of this release ‘Effects of coronavirus (COVID-19) and changes to LTT rates’.
Figure 2.1 above shows the total number of transactions submitted to the WRA in each 7-day period for the latest 2 financial years. These periods begin on a Saturday and end on the following Friday. For example, the point ‘9.4’ in 2022-23 shows the number of residential and non-residential transactions submitted to the WRA from 9 to 15 April 2022 (inclusive). The actual dates differ slightly in the previous year. For example, the equivalent week in 2021-22 ran from 10 to 16 April 2021 (inclusive).
Please note that Figure 2.1 shows data by submitted date. This differs from effective date, which is the date we use for most analysis in this release.
There was a sharp peak in transactions submitted at the end of June 2021. This peak is associated with the temporary tax reduction period that ended on 30 June 2021. A record 2,840 transactions were submitted in the week beginning 26 June 2021, with many of those being submitted on 30 June 2021. The weekly number of transactions submitted then fell to a more usual level from July 2021, except for a smaller peak of 1,670 transactions seen in the week beginning 25 September 2021. The fall in transactions in the week beginning 16 April 2022 coincides with public holidays.
The weekly number of transactions submitted from April to July 2020 ranged between 40% to 60% of the number seen in the same week of 2019 and averaged at around 50% over the whole period. Since then, there has been a gradual recovery in transactions, with levels similar to or above those seen in the previous year since October 2020.
By the close of 20 June 2022, we received details of 68,810 notifiable transactions with an effective date in April 2021 to March 2022. This represents an increase of 12% compared with April 2019 to March 2020 (estimate taken as at June 2020). It should be noted that the total number of transactions in the 2 years April 2020 to March 2022 is similar to the total for the earlier 2 years, April 2018 to March 2020.
The corresponding changes for residential, higher rates residential and non-residential transactions were increases of 13%, 6% and 8% respectively. Commentary on Figure 2.5a later in this section discusses the differing trends since April 2020 for all residential tax due and additional revenue from higher rates. Similarly, commentary below Figure 2.5b provides insight into the trends in non-residential tax due.
In April 2021 to March 2022, 90% of transactions were residential and 10% were non-residential, similar to previous years.
The total tax due for transactions with an effective date in April 2021 to March 2022 was £414.3 million. This is 77% higher than April 2019 to March 2020 (estimate taken as at June 2020). The corresponding changes for tax due from residential, higher rates residential and non-residential transactions were increases of 71%, 63%, and 91% respectively.
Commentary on Figure 2.6a later in this section discusses the differing trends since April 2020 for all residential tax due and additional revenue from higher rates. Similarly, commentary below Figure 2.6b provides insight into the trends in non-residential tax due.
As noted in Figure 2.3 above, these comparisons exclude any tax due from the additional transactions shown in Figure 1.2.
The value of property taxed in April 2021 to March 2022 was £16.9 billion. This is 38% higher than the £12.2 billion seen in April 2019 to March 2020. This is consistent with a rise in the values of transactions in the intervening 2 years. Section 3 of this release describes trends in residential transactions and tax due by value.
(not shown in Figure 2.4) Separately, in April 2021 to March 2022, the rental value for newly granted non-residential leases was £975 million. This is the lowest annual value seen to date.
LTT statistics by time period and transaction type on StatsWales (includes data back to 2018-19, not presented above)
In a typical year, the numbers of residential transactions by effective month vary somewhat. There is general seasonality with more transactions in the summer and autumn months, although some fluctuation is due to there being 5 Fridays in particular months, rather than 4. Figure 2.9 in this release shows that 45% of transactions effective in 2021-22 have an effective date that is a Friday.
Following COVID-19 restrictions introduced in March 2020, the monthly number of residential transactions dropped sharply in April 2020. Since then, it has gradually recovered, rising above the numbers seen in the previous year between October and December 2020.
In January 2021, the numbers fell but have since risen again to above the numbers seen a year earlier. Within this number, higher rate residential transactions have also recovered. In June 2021, a record monthly number of residential transactions was seen, coinciding with the temporary tax reduction period that ended on 30 June 2021. Residential transactions since July 2021 have been in line with or slightly above usual levels (seen in the corresponding months in April 2019 to March 2020).
LTT statistics by time period and transaction type on StatsWales (includes data back to 2018-19, not presented above)
Please note that the scale of Figure 2.5b is different to that of Figure 2.5a.
In March each year, we see an increase from the previous month (February) in non-residential transactions. This may generally be due to non-residential leases to be renewed at the end of the financial year. However in March 2022, the increase in non-residential transactions over February was due to purchases, and the reasons for this are yet to emerge.
The impact of COVID-19 restrictions is less easily seen in non-residential transactions. This is in part due to the lower number of transactions generally, and the irregular patterns seen in the monthly number of non-residential transactions.
LTT statistics by time period and transaction type on StatsWales (includes data back to 2018-19, not presented above)
As may be expected, similar trends are seen in the monthly residential tax due and the monthly counts of transactions. There has been an even greater recovery in revenues for higher rates transactions than for all residential transactions since summer 2020. This was further boosted when all higher rate bands were increased by 1% from 22 December 2020.
The recovery continued in 2021 with record residential revenues seen in June 2021 before falling in July 2021. This was likely due to some transactions being brought forward in the year to benefit from the temporary tax reduction period.
Residential revenues then increased, with monthly revenues in September to December 2021 being the highest seen to date, except for the June 2021 peak. This is consistent with a rise in the value of residential transactions, described in section 3 of this release. Residential revenues fell in January 2022 then increased in February and March, though remaining below monthly revenues seen at the end of 2021. This is consistent with the expected seasonal trends in the property market.
Non-residential revenues were steady in April 2020, due to a small number of large transactions that month. Non-residential revenues then fell to the lowest level seen to date in May 2020 (£1.5 million), before generally recovering in the following months.
In April 2021, record monthly revenues were seen due to a small number of high value non-residential transactions. Revenues then dipped in May 2021, before rising over the following months. These recent increases in revenue are driven mainly by conveyances or transfer of ownership.
In nearly 3 years from April 2018 to February 2021, monthly non-residential revenues reached between £8 million and £10 million on only five occasions. However, from March 2021 to March 2022, non-residential revenues exceeded £8 million every month (except May 2021). It is possible that a changing pattern of transactions during the COVID-19 recovery is contributing to this trend. For example, there is evidence of slightly higher numbers of outright purchases of non-residential property, as compared with new leases. Purchases tend to generate more revenue than leases but it is still unclear what impact this may have on future revenues. We will continue to monitor these trends in future.
There is greater volatility in the monthly series for non-residential transactions (than for residential transactions). They also make up a larger share of total tax due than the share of the number of transactions.
LTT statistics by transaction type and transaction description on StatsWales (includes data back to 2018-19, not presented above)
Most transactions were associated with a conveyance or a transfer of ownership. This figure was 94% for residential transactions and 71% for non-residential transactions.
A new lease was granted in 26% of non-residential transactions (compared with 1% of residential transactions).
Similar percentages are seen in previous years.
Analysis by submission date of the return
We are aware that some other statistical publications in the UK base their analysis on the date that the tax return is submitted. We have therefore produced some comparable figures to other UK countries (using date submitted) and compared these to our effective date statistics.
As might be expected, the monthly trend is generally quite similar for the monthly series of transactions submitted and transactions by effective date. In some instances, differences can be explained by there being 5 Fridays in particular months, rather than 4. In these instances, there is a greater impact on monthly data by effective date than by submitted date. This is because Figure 2.9 in this section shows that nearly half of transactions have an effective date that is a Friday.
Other differences between the 2 series can be explained as follows:
- in April 2018, 1,370 more transactions were effective than were submitted. This is largely because there were no LTT transactions which would have been effective in March 2018 to act as a balance for those effective in April that were received in May 2018. These March 2018 transactions were still being submitted to HMRC under the predecessor tax regime of Stamp Duty Land Tax
- in June 2021, 990 more transactions were effective than were completed, while in July 2021, 1,180 more transactions were submitted than were effective. This can be explained by the larger than usual number of transactions effective just before the end of the temporary tax reduction period on 30 June 2021. Many returns effective at this time were likely submitted to the WRA in early July 2021
- in December and January each year, differences of up to 600 transactions can be seen. This is likely due to Christmas holidays and delays in submitting transactions around this time
Friday was the most popular day for both transactions to be submitted and for transactions to become effective, with very few on a weekend. This reflects the typical working week of agents who complete LTT returns.
45% of transactions effective in April 2021 to March 2022 became effective on a Friday. This percentage is slightly lower than in the previous year, due to the large number of returns effective on the final day of the temporary tax reduction period (30 June 2021), which was a Wednesday.
While an above average proportion of returns were submitted on a Friday, the difference is far less pronounced than for effective date. This suggests that returns are generally not submitted on the same day that the transaction completes.
Although not shown above, there is also evidence within the data of even more marked peaks in submissions on the last Friday of each month.
3. Residential transactions by value
For each tax band, Figures 3.1 and 3.2 show the annual trends in the number of residential transactions and tax due. There are 6 residential tax bands. We have combined the largest 3 bands here to show results for properties purchased for more than £400,000.
Analysis of quarterly trends by tax band is presented in our quarterly releases. There has been considerable variation during the past 2 years, analysed for all tax bands in section 2 of this release and more generally in the section ‘Effects of coronavirus (COVID-19) and changes to the LTT rates’.
In April 2021 to March 2022, the number of residential transactions of properties up to and including £180,000 increased from the previous year, though remaining below the level seen in April 2019 to March 2020. In April 2021 to March 2022, the number of transactions in higher value tax bands increased to the highest figures seen to date.
In each of the 4 tax bands presented in Figure 3.2, the tax due in April 2021 to March 2022 was the highest annual figure seen to date. In April 2021 to March 2022, the largest increases were seen in the higher value tax bands, with tax due on properties over £400,000 at around two and a half times the level seen in April 2019 to March 2020.
The annual trends in number of transactions and tax due in each band is consistent with general increases in the value of properties sold and increases in tax due on those properties.
LTT statistics by time period and residential transaction value on StatsWales (includes data back to 2018-19, not presented above)
In April 2021 to March 2022, 51% of residential transactions were within the first tax band (purchase price £180,000 or lower). Although the main tax rate is 0% on residential transactions of up to £180,000, these transactions still accounted for 14% of total residential tax due, which relates to the higher rates residential component of the tax.
The 21% of transactions in the second tax band (purchase price £180,001 to £250,000) accounted for only 10% of the tax due. However, in the third tax band (purchase price £250,001 to £400,000), only 20% of transactions account for 29% of tax due.
Combining the fourth, fifth and sixth bands (purchase price of greater than £400,000), these accounted for 8% of transactions. However, the tax due for these transactions accounted for 47% of the total residential tax due. These 2 percentages have generally risen in the past few years, reflecting an increase in the numbers of higher value transactions.
4. Non-residential transactions by value
For each tax band, Figures 4.1 and 4.2 show the annual trends in the number of non-residential transactions and tax due. There are 4 tax bands for the non-rental value. We have combined the smallest 2 bands here to show results for properties with a non-rental value less than £250,000.
Figure 4.1 shows that in April 2021 to March 2022, the number of transactions in each non-rental band presented were the highest annual values seen to date. In April 2021 to March 2022, the tax due on transactions with a non-rental value of more than £1 million was more than double the highest annual figure seen previously.
It is possible that a changing pattern of transactions during the COVID-19 recovery is contributing to this trend. For example, there is evidence of slightly higher numbers of outright purchases of non-residential property, as compared with new leases. Purchases tend to generate more revenue than leases but it is still unclear what impact this may have on future revenues. We will continue to monitor these trends in future. For further information, users should refer to the section of this release ‘Effects of coronavirus (COVID-19) and changes to LTT rates’. Quarterly data has varied considerably, and analysis is presented in our quarterly releases.
In each year, around 60% to 80% of the tax due has been contributed by transactions with a non-rental value greater than £1 million. In each year, around 5% to 20% of the tax due has been contributed by the rental value of non-residential properties.
LTT statistics by time period and non-residential transaction value on StatsWales (includes data back to 2018-19, not presented above)
Figure 4.3 shows that in April 2021 to March 2022, 6% of non-residential transactions had a non-rental value of more than £1 million. These transactions accounted for 81% of the non-residential tax due (Figure 4.4). A small number of very large non-residential transactions influenced this percentage.
Figure 4.3 also shows that for 24% of non-residential transactions in this period, a rental value was associated with the property (which contributed to the tax paid on the transaction).
The rental value of non-residential properties accounted for 6% of the total non-residential tax due, lower than in previous years (Figure 4.4).
Taxpayers can claim reliefs on both residential and non-residential transactions. Reliefs reduce the amount of tax due when certain conditions are met. More than one relief can be applied to a single transaction.
Reliefs may reduce the tax due:
- to zero, known as a full relief, or
- by a certain percentage or amount, known as a partial relief
There were 1,230 transactions in April 2021 to March 2022 with £54.6 million in reliefs applied to them that reduced the associated tax due. Quarterly data has varied considerably, and analysis is presented in our quarterly releases.
(not shown in Figure 5.1) On average, there are around 400 to 600 reliefs claimed each year which had no impact on the tax due. These reliefs are excluded from Figure 5.1. Many of them have been reported unnecessarily by the organisations completing the tax return.
As an example, some of these mistakenly claimed reliefs apply to low value residential transactions. Indications are that they are due to a perceived but mistaken need to claim first time buyer relief (which applies for the predecessor tax, but not to LTT). This is known following queries raised with several agents asking why tax reliefs have been claimed where there is no impact on value of the tax. Further information about this category of reliefs is provided in Example 4 in our key quality information.
Each year, the number of reliefs claimed on residential transactions was higher than for non-residential transactions. Up to the year April 2020 to March 2021, the value of reliefs claimed on non-residential transactions contributed around two-thirds, or higher, of the total value of reliefs claimed. In April 2021 to March 2022, the value of reliefs claimed on residential transactions was higher than for non-residential transactions.
Analysis in our quarterly releases showed considerable variation for three-month periods. For example, there have been some three-month periods where a few large residential transactions contributed to residential reliefs being considerably larger than their non-residential counterparts, in particular during April 2021 to March 2022.
In our previous annual releases, we presented data by type of relief broken down for residential and non-residential transactions. This breakdown for residential and non-residential transactions is no longer presented in the chart, but the data is available on StatsWales at the link above.
The type of relief with the largest impact on tax due each year was group relief. This accounted for 69% of tax relieved in April 2018 to March 2019, falling to 47% in April 2021 to March 2022.
The value of multiple dwellings relief claimed increased in each of the past 3 years, now accounting for around a quarter of the value of all reliefs claimed in April 2021 to March 2022.
6. Higher rate refunds
When a taxpayer claims a refund for higher rates residential LTT, the original transaction is amended to a main rate residential LTT transaction. The data in this release is adjusted for any refunds approved by WRA up to and including 20 June 2022.
(not shown in Figure 6.1) Cumulatively, 6,290 higher rate refunds were claimed for transactions effective in April 2018 to March 2022, with £59.6 million refunded to taxpayers.
Taxpayers have up to 3 years to sell their previous main residence and claim a refund. Therefore, all the values in Figure 6.1 will continue to be revised upwards in future editions of our statistics. This will lead to the total tax due in other tables and charts reducing.
The number and value of refunds presented for April 2021 to March 2022 is lower than for earlier periods. This is because compared with earlier periods, not enough time has passed since the transaction was effective for many of the relevant taxpayers to sell their previous main residence and claim their refund.
Refunds of higher rates residential by date the refund was approved
Figure 6.2 below shows another useful way of presenting data on higher rates refunds, using the date when the refund was approved by the WRA.
The number of refunds approved (and value of those refunds) increased each year up to April 2021 to March 2022. This would be expected, as more time has passed for claims to be made. Also as expected, the number and value of refunds approved from 1 April 2022 to 20 June 2022 is lower than earlier, complete years.
Refunds of higher rates residential (cash basis)
Further information on the refund payments made to taxpayers, by the month in which they were made, can be found at the link below.
In the main, these additional data are provided to support forecasting requirements.
Intention to claim a refund of the higher rates element
For all higher rates transactions, the WRA asks the question whether the taxpayer intends to reclaim the higher rates element in future. It will take several years before we know how likely someone is to claim based on their stated intentions (it can take up to 3 years to make the claim). But we do currently know that around 70% of those who do claim answer this question in the positive.
7. Tax paid
In April 2021 to March 2022, the WRA received £401.1 million in LTT payments. This is 72% higher than the £232.8 million received in April 2019 to March 2020. As described in section 1 of this release (‘About these statistics’), it is more appropriate to make comparisons of the current period against January to March 2020 than the same period in 2021. This is due to the effects of coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions and tax rate changes on housing market activity in 2020-21.
These values are different to those reported in Figure 2.3 as they relate to the payments received in each month (often referred to as ‘on a cash basis’). This differs from earlier data presented in this release which is based on transactions that were effective in the month.
There is a difference in April 2018 as the WRA only started collecting the tax in that month. Therefore, no payments relating to transactions effective in earlier months were relevant.
Please also note that the data in Figure 7.1:
- is presented net of higher rate refunds being paid out in a particular month
- includes penalties paid (such as for late filing or late payment) and also interest paid on previous LTT debt
- will not include a relatively small amount of unpaid LTT, which we are managing through our debt management processes
The highest monthly receipts seen to date were in December 2021 (£43.1 million). Usually, monthly trends in payments made are partly influenced by tax due reported at the end of the previous month. However, it is more likely that tax due reported in December is paid in December, along with payments related to transactions in late November. This is because of Christmas holidays and low levels of transactions reported and tax being paid at the end of December, with many transactions brought forward and settled before the last week of the month.
LTT transactions are subject to revision for various reasons, for example following a review into their accuracy, or the granting of higher rates refunds. As the data in this release is largely based on the effective date of the transaction, which usually remains the same, then much of the data published here for previous periods can still change.
Whilst virtually all the transactions relating to 2021-22 should now be included in this release (due to the time that has elapsed since the end of the year), data for 2018-19 to 2021-22 will never be fully finalised until the window for revisions closes. In the case of higher rate refunds this can be as much as three years after the original transaction, with a potentially longer window available for certain other transactions, such as those which WRA choose to open an enquiry into.
For the purposes of accounting and forecasting, it is necessary to create a final figure at the Wales level for the total tax due for each year. Whilst the value of the money received in figure 7.1 is fixed as soon as each period ends, this is too simplistic for this purpose. For example, Figure 7.1 doesn’t identify the tax year to which each transaction relates.
Instead, a final accounting figure for 2021-22 is defined by including transactions (or any amendments to transactions) received up until 30 April 2022 with an effective date in 2021-22. This includes any statutory accounting adjustments that we are required to make, totalling less than £0.1m in 2021-22. Any transactions received (or amendments made) since 30 April 2022, or yet to be received are excluded. This data has been formally published as part of the WRA’s annual report and accounts for 2021-22, as laid before the Welsh Parliament.
A key difference between the total revenue for each year (Figure 7.2) and our wider statistics relates to higher rate refunds. For example, transactions refunded during 2021-22 (which relate to an original transaction in 2018-19, 2019-20 or 2020-21) will act on the 2021-22 value in Figure 7.2, but on 2018-19, 2019-20 or 2020-21 values in our wider statistics.
8. Analysis within Wales
Main points in this section
These annual statistics for April 2021 to March 2022 by local authority show:
- for residential transactions, the average tax due per transaction was highest in Monmouthshire (£9,440) and lowest in Blaenau Gwent (£1,250). For non-residential transactions, this figure was highest in Flintshire (£60,460) and lowest in Blaenau Gwent (£3,290)
- for residential transactions, the average property value per transaction was highest in Monmouthshire (£333,000) and lowest in Blaenau Gwent (£124,000)
- higher rates transactions as a percentage of all residential transactions varied between 15% in Monmouthshire and 37% in Gwynedd
It is important to note that several factors can mean a residential transaction is subject to higher rates. These include:
- purchasing buy-to-let properties
- buying a second home or holiday home
- buying a new property while trying to sell an existing one
- companies such as social housing providers buying properties
The LTT statistics only include properties sold in the past year. They don’t represent the full stock of properties in any local authority.
Further information on how to use statistics on the higher rates of LTT is presented in the article accompanying this release.
Data by local authority
This release presents geographic breakdowns for LTT (on an annual basis only). We have not provided breakdowns by month or quarter, as there would be too few transactions in most local authorities to provide reliable statistics.
The local authority in which the transaction occurs is a mandatory question on the tax return, whereas the postcode where the transaction occurs is an optional question. We have combined these 2 pieces of information to derive our local authority statistics. Further information on this process and the data quality is available in our key quality information for LTT statistics.
We present local authority data for residential and non-residential transactions and tax due.
We also present local authority data on the value of properties taxed (known as the consideration) for residential transactions only. This is because there are some non-residential transactions with a particularly large consideration and a possible risk of identifying a taxpayer if we were to publish annual local authority data on these.
We welcome views from users on whether we should investigate the viability of combining several years of non-residential transactions to support safe publication of consideration data.
Data for other geographies
We also publish annual statistics for:
- Senedd constituencies
- National Parks
- built-up areas
These statistics are not analysed in this release but are available on the StatsWales website. These statistics are published for residential transactions only.
Where supplied, the postcode on the tax return is used to derive the Senedd constituency, National Park, or built-up area.
There is a clear bias towards larger non-residential transactions in cases where the postcode is not supplied, and it is these cases where it is not possible to allocate the transaction to a local area. As a result the remaining non-residential cases will lead to statistics which are not reliable. Therefore, it is not currently appropriate to produce statistics on non-residential transactions for these postcode-based geographies.
Presentation of averages in this section
Where Wales averages are presented in this section, these are a weighted mean which takes account of different numbers of transactions in each local authority.
Figures 8.1 to 8.3 and 8.5 present ratios (for example tax due per transaction or higher rates transactions as a proportion of all transactions), This use of ratios is needed to create comparable data across all local authorities, as the individual concepts will often vary greatly between local authorities simply due to their varying size and population.
As an example, consider Figure 8.1. Among Welsh local authorities, Cardiff had both the highest amount of residential tax due and number of residential transactions. Due to their size, this would prevent meaningful comparison across local authorities, but when looking at tax due per residential transaction, a much smaller authority (Monmouthshire) exhibited the highest figure, with the comparable figure in Cardiff being the fifth largest.
Figure 8.1 shows that for residential transactions, the average tax due per transaction was highest in Monmouthshire (£9,440) and Vale of Glamorgan (£8,490).
The average tax due per residential transaction was lowest in Blaenau Gwent (£1,250) and Neath Port Talbot (£1,610).
For April 2021 to March 2022, the ordering and distribution of local authorities in this chart is very similar to previous years.
For all local authorities, the average tax due per residential transaction increased in April 2021 to March 2022 by at least 25%, compared with April 2019 to March 2020. Increases in transaction values are described in sections 2 and 3 of this release.
Figure 8.2 presents similar data to Figure 8.1, except Figure 8.2 focuses on the additional revenue due from higher rates transactions (not the main rate component of those transactions). The average revenue is calculated per the number of higher rates residential transactions in each local authority.
The ordering of local authorities is generally similar between Figure 8.1 and 8.2, but with some differences. For example, Vale of Glamorgan is second highest in Figure 8.1 but fourth highest in Figure 8.2.
In April 2021 to March 2022, the average additional revenue due per higher rates residential transaction was highest in Monmouthshire (£11,820) and Isle of Anglesey (£11,530), and lowest in Blaenau Gwent (£3,570) and Rhondda Cynon Taf (£4,120).
In all local authorities, the additional revenue due per higher rates residential transactions increased by at least 25% in April 2021 to March 2022, compared with April 2019 to March 2020. Increases in transaction values are described in sections 2 and 3 of this release.
Figure 8.3 shows that for non-residential transactions, the average tax due per transaction was highest in Flintshire (£60,460).
The average tax due per non-residential transactions was lowest in Blaenau Gwent (£3,290).
As with residential transactions, the tax due for individual transactions in a local authority varied widely around the average figure for Wales.
Although the patterns seen for residential and non-residential are quite similar, there are some clear differences in the ordering of the local authorities between the 2 charts.
For April 2021 to March 2022, the relative position in the chart for some local authorities has changed considerably (compared with April 2019 to March 2020). For example, Bridgend has risen from third lowest to second highest, while Caerphilly has fallen from second highest to twelfth highest. This illustrates the volatility in the non-residential data from year to year. Small numbers of very large transactions can exert considerable influence over the average for a local authority.
Over this time period, the annual average tax due per non-residential transaction increased considerably in some local authorities. In April 2019 to March 2020, the average tax due exceeded £20,000 in only Cardiff, whereas this occurred for 8 local authorities in April 2021 to March 2022.
Figure 8.4 shows the wide variation between local authorities in the level of higher rates residential transactions. This data is presented as a percentage of all residential transactions.
Higher rates transactions were generally more common in authorities located in the northern and western parts of Wales. The highest percentages were seen in Gwynedd (37%), Isle of Anglesey (32%) and Pembrokeshire (30%).
The lowest percentages were seen in Monmouthshire (15%) and Torfaen (16%).
For April 2021 to March 2022, the ordering and distribution of local authorities in this chart is similar to April 2019 to March 2020 (data extracted in June 2020). In terms of percentage points, the local authorities with the largest changes between the 2 years were:
- Merthyr Tydfil (increase of 5 percentage points)
- Isle of Anglesey, Carmarthenshire and Monmouthshire (each with a decrease of 4 percentage points)
- Powys, Caerphilly and Cardiff (each with a decrease of 3 percentage points)
For residential transactions, the highest average property value per transaction was in Monmouthshire (£333,000) and Vale of Glamorgan (£295,000), and the lowest in Blaenau Gwent (£124,000) and Merthyr Tydfil (£143,000).
It is too simplistic to treat the figures above as average property prices in their own right, or to derive price growth in a given local authority. There will be some large transactions present which can bias these data and the composition of transactions in any given period may not be representative of the entire stock, or the change in stock. Instead the data should be used to indicate broader trends in house prices across Wales, and where in Wales prices are generally highest or lowest. Please see our key quality information where we previously added information on comparisons between LTT statistics and the ONS House Price Index.
As observed in wider trends in the property market, the average value of residential property taxed has increased by at least 10% in each local authority in April 2021 to March 2022, compared with April 2019 to March 2020. And for April 2021 to March 2022, the ordering and distribution of local authorities in this chart is very similar to previous years.
9. Analysis by Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation area
In this section of the release, we analyse LTT for Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation (WIMD) areas. This analysis shows the level of transactions and tax due in the most and least deprived areas of Wales.
These statistics for WIMD areas are published for residential transactions only. Where supplied, the postcode on the tax return is used to derive the WIMD area. Where the postcode is not supplied, there is a clear bias towards larger non-residential transactions, and as these cannot be allocated to a WIMD area, the resulting statistics are not reliable. Therefore, it is not currently appropriate to produce statistics on non-residential transactions for WIMD areas.
What is WIMD and how are we using it?
WIMD is designed to identify the small areas of Wales that are the most deprived. WIMD is currently made up of 8 separate domains (or types) of deprivation. Each domain is compiled from a range of different indicators. The 8 domains are income, employment, health, education, access to services, community safety, physical environment, and housing. Further information is available on the WIMD webpage.
Where provided, we have linked the postcode from the tax return to around 1,900 small areas in Wales. These small areas are ranked by WIMD from the most to least deprived. These areas are grouped into ten equal sized bands from the most to least deprived (known as ‘deciles’ or ‘tenths’).
WIMD ranks were updated in 2019 and we used these latest WIMD ranks in this release. Each update of WIMD ranks is designed to last for around 3 to 6 years. When we first published this analysis in 2018, we used 2014 WIMD ranks.
Where averages are presented in this section, this is a weighted mean which takes account of different numbers of transactions in each WIMD tenth.
Furthermore, most of the variation in terms of deprivation is found in the most deprived tenths. The difference (in relative deprivation) between the most deprived and second most deprived tenths is greater than that at the other end of the distribution.
Because each of these tenths are of a similar size in terms of population, we can analyse the data without scaling for their size, as was necessary for local authorities (see the grey box in section 8 of this release). This allows us to consider the number of transactions and tax due separately rather than the ratio between the 2 items that we analysed for local authorities.
Figure 9.2 shows, as might be expected, that the total residential tax due grows considerably through the range of areas (from most deprived to least deprived). This represents likely differences in the value of property in these areas.
However, Figure 9.1 also shows that the number of residential transactions is lowest in the most deprived areas of Wales, peaking towards the middle and latter part of the distribution. This suggests that deprivation is not only linked to prices but also to the level of activity in the housing market in Wales.
The additional revenue from higher rates also generally grows from the most deprived areas to the latter end of the distribution, before dropping in the least deprived tenth.
For April 2021 to March 2022 LTT data (using 2019 WIMD ranks), the pattern seen in Figures 9.1 and 9.2 is broadly similar to April 2019 to March 2020 data published in July 2020 (also using 2019 WIMD ranks).
Figure 9.3 shows the percentage of higher rates transactions within total residential transactions for each WIMD tenth. The proportion of residential transactions which are taxed at the higher rates falls from the most deprived areas to the least deprived areas.
As stated in section 8 of this release, there are various reasons for the higher rates tax being chargeable, 2 of these being purchases of buy-to-let properties and purchase of second or holiday homes. Figure 9.3, taken together with Figure 9.1 (which shows that the number of higher rates transactions varies only very little between WIMD tenths), may give some insight into the balance between these 2 items.
Assuming that buy-to-let properties are more likely to be bought in more deprived areas, while second or holiday homes are more likely to be bought further up the distribution, then a tentative conclusion can be drawn that buy-to-let properties are at least as prevalent as second or holiday homes as a factor on why the higher rates of tax are charged. It is therefore important not to assume that any single factor is the driver for the higher rate charge.
Figure 9.4 presents data by WIMD tenth on refunds of higher rates residential issued for transactions effective in the 4 years April 2018 to March 2022. Further refunds for transactions effective in this period are expected to be made in future. Other analyses of refunds by effective date are presented in Figure 6.1 earlier in this release.
Figure 9.4 shows comparatively few refunds, and value of those refunds, in the most deprived areas. This may add weight to the tentative conclusion below Figure 9.3 on buy-to-lets being a factor on why the higher rates of tax are charged.
Annex A: Analysis of revisions
We analyse here the effect of the regular revisions made to Land Transaction Tax statistics. We analyse the differences between the first, second and third estimates published for a month. This is for both the number of transactions and the tax due.
For example, we have published 3 estimates for January 2022. We published the first estimate on 25 February 2022, published the second estimate on 25 March 2022 and the third estimate on 28 April 2022.
Figures A1 and A2 show that higher levels of revisions can generally be seen in the earlier months that the WRA began collecting LTT. This is particularly the case for the tax due for transactions with an effective date in April 2018, where there was a 30% increase in the estimate of tax due (from the first to the second estimate for the month). A larger revision in April 2018 was expected because the familiarity of the system to users would have been lower, and also because an earlier cut-off date in the following month was used to extract the data.
Nevertheless, the 30% figure for April 2018 in terms of tax due is considerably higher than the equivalent figure for the number of transactions (11%). It is explained by a few larger transactions with an effective date late in April 2018 that were not reported to WRA until later in May 2018 (before the 30 day filing limit, but after the cut-off date for the April 2018 publication).
Figures A1 and A2 also show the levels of revisions have generally decreased over time. Since August 2018, the revisions between the first and second monthly estimates have generally been upwards and between 0 and 5%. Recent exceptions were:
- April 2019 when the tax due was revised downwards by 3% between the first and second estimate
- June 2019 (tax due was revised upwards by 9%)
- September 2019 (tax due was revised upwards by 16%)
- January 2020 (tax due was revised upwards by 27%)
- March 2020 (tax due was revised upwards by 6%)
- June 2021 (tax due was revised upwards by 9%)
- October 2021 (tax due was revised upwards by 8%)
These exceptions are generally due to a small number of larger value returns arriving towards the end of the 30-day notification period.
The lower level of revisions generally seen now is likely to be due in part to an increasing familiarity with the system amongst solicitors and conveyancers completing the returns. It is consistent with a general decrease in the time taken for returns to be filed with the WRA over the same period (not shown in tables or charts).
There may also be seasonal effects in revisions to the data. Although we saw higher revisions for the July 2018 estimates than the months around it, we do not see any obvious similarities in data for 2019. And further, the data for April 2020 onwards has been significantly influenced by coronavirus (COVID-19) effects and LTT rate changes. Therefore, we will require at least another year’s worth of data to properly assess any revisions for seasonality.
Revisions between second and third published estimates
In a spreadsheet published alongside this statistical release, Tables A1 and A2 show the difference between first, second and third published estimates for a month.
We see relatively small increases between the second and third estimates for a month. In general, this is also the case for the later estimates for a month (not shown in the tables). However, falls may be seen in the second, third and later estimates of tax due for a month. This is because the data are shown net of any refunds for higher rate residential transactions. These refunds may be claimed several years after the effective date of the original transaction. We analyse refunds in section 6 of this statistical release.
In future, we may consider applying a grossing factor to the first estimates for a month. This may help reduce the revisions required to the first estimate for a month. With the volatility shown in the data to date, it is likely we will need several years of LTT data to calculate appropriate grossing factors.
In general, we see larger revisions in the data on non-residential transactions than for residential transactions. This reflects the more volatile nature and often larger size of non-residential transactions.
Links to key quality information and glossary pages
Feedback and contact details
We would be grateful for your feedback on these statistics, to help us improve them. Please contact us using the details below.
Statistician: Dave Jones
Telephone: 03000 254 729
Rydym yn croesawu galwadau a gohebiaeth yn Gymraeg / We welcome calls and correspondence in Welsh.
Telephone: 03000 254 770
Rydym yn croesawu galwadau a gohebiaeth yn Gymraeg / We welcome calls and correspondence in Welsh.