Has there been a better time to buy a house in recent memory?
On 8 July 2020, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced that there would be a Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) holiday effective immediately until 31 March 2021.
This means that if you purchase a residential property, you only start to pay stamp duty land tax on the amount you pay for the property above £500,000.00, the previous threshold having been £125,000.00.
This will have a significant impact on prospective purchasers, and some buyers may save up to £15,000.00 in SDLT payments – a substantial saving by anyone’s standards and could potentially make that previously unattainable property suddenly affordable. The average UK house price is £231,855.00 with an average house price in Suffolk of £277,705.00, meaning that people’s budgets and affordability will substantially increase.
This announcement was made in an attempt to kick start the housing market after a disastrous April May, mainly due to the restrictions imposed by the government to battle the Corona Virus.
So has it worked? To an extent, yes it has. Property transactions are rising, and reports state that house prices are at an all-time.
The higher rate SDLT threshold for additional properties has also been increased up to £500,000.00. Again, this means any person purchasing a residential property which is not to be used as their main residence will pay the 3% SDLT rate up to £500,000.00.
There are calls for this holiday to be extended, but at this stage, this is no indication from the government that this will be the case.
Many conveyancers will remember the March of 2016, just before the higher rate SDLT threshold was introduced, as a mad month where people scurried to complete their purchases before they were hit with a larger tax bill.
Could the same be on the cards for March 2021? Only time will tell, but for now, any person who had thought of moving should consider making hay whilst the sun shines.
If you are looking at selling or buying a property, then please contact one of our conveyancing team who will be happy to provide you with an estimate.