The new measures, which apply to house sales in England and Northern Ireland, are part of an economic package aimed at saving and creating jobs, in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Solicitor Iain Mason, Head of Property Services at Swindon-based Optimum, said any measure to reduce the cost of moving house was welcome.
SDLT is paid by the buyer, and is liable where the purchase price is over £125,000. This threshold has now moved to £500,000, taking a large percentage of properties out of the SDLT catchment. First time buyers were already exempt from paying the tax on sales up to £300,000.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak believes this will stimulate the housing market, which has been affected by falling house prices, and in turn help retain and create jobs. The changes last until 31st March 2021 and apply to house moves completed before then.
Raising the threshold means the average saving per house sale will be £4,500 and will take nine in ten sales out of the SDLT liability. This is quite an expensive move by the Government, whose annual income from Stamp Duty Land Tax is around £12bn, according to the latest figures released by HM Revenue and Customs. The nine-month SDLT holiday will cost the Treasury an estimated £3.8bn.
According to latest figures, the average property price in the Swindon postcode area is £287k, an increase of £4.2k (1%) over the last twelve months.
Optimum Professional Services’ legal team specialise in property law, wills and probate. For more information, visit www.optps.co.uk, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01793 538 198.
Iain Mason, Optimum Professional Services
Sign up for news from Wigwam Swindon: Here