Odds stacked against homeowners in inheritance tax postcode lottery

27 February 2007
The number of properties in the UK subject to inheritance tax has almost doubled over the last five years to 2.3 million countrywide or 12 per cent of all owner-occupied properties, research from Halifax has found.

The number of postcode districts countrywide where the average price of a home comes in above the inheritance tax threshold has more than doubled since 2002, with 54 per cent of London postcode districts included.

Predictably, SW1X in Knightsbridge (where average house price is £1.26 million) and SW7 in Kensington are the postcode districts with the highest average house prices above the threshold.

But hotspot postcodes where the number of housing sales above the threshold has increased most rapidly over the last five years include NE20 in Newcastle, where the proportion of such sales rose from 22 per cent to 61 per cent.

And signs for the future are gloomy, with 4.3 million properties potentially liable to pay inheritance tax by 2020, according to the Halifax, unless the government raises the threshold to £460,000 to accommodate house price growth.

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