Stamp Duty Holiday

July 2020

The Government have announced today that Stamp duty, the tax on buying land or properties, is being temporarily cut in England and Northern Ireland.

From now until 31 March it will only be charged on properties costing £500,000 or more.

Previously it was charged on properties costing £125,000 or more, except for first-time buyers, who paid nothing up to £300,000 and then a reduced rate up to £500,000.

So this will be a tax cut for first-time buyers looking for property over £300,000 and other buyers going for anything over £125,000 (there are different rules for people buying second homes).

Important to highlight that under the previous rules, someone buying a £500,000 property would pay £15,000 stamp duty. With the threshold now raised, anyone buying a property for less than half a million will pay no transaction tax, while those buying property above the threshold will save £15,000 on their total stamp duty tax bill.

The Halifax says the average price paid by a first-time buyer was £231,455 – so the average first-time buyer would not benefit.

Figures from Zoopla suggest that at the moment 16% of sales in England were exempt from stamp duty last year – they reckon that would have been 89% if anything up to £500,000 had been exempt.

Great news for buyers, especially first time buyers and those looking to upsize.

Best regards

Alexander Wall