The government made £8.5 billion from stamp duty receipts over the past year, a 17 per cent rise compared with the previous year despite falling house sales.
The substantial increase is largely thanks to the introduction of a 3 per cent surcharge on second homes and buy-to-let properties that came into effect in April 2016, according to figures from Revenue & Customs. This provided £1.7 billion for the Treasury.
The numbers will fuel the debate over whether high stamp duty rates have damaged the housing market.
Stamp duty land tax was also overhauled at the end of 2014 to make transactions less costly for those buying a home below £925,000. However, those buying a home above this level have to pay a 10 per cent…