Many movers are taking full advantage of the Chancellor’s Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) holiday which means buyers in England and Northern Ireland pay no stamp duty on purchases up to £500,000.
It doesn’t last forever though, the SDLT holiday ends on 31 March 2021 and the jury’s out on whether the stimulus to the housing market will be short-lived.
Some commentators believe the move has simply encouraged purchasers to bring forward moves that they were already planning, while others are more hopeful that the tax break provides a welcome boost at a time when the pandemic might otherwise have put paid to many residential transactions.
Since the Stamp Duty Land Tax holiday was introduced on 8 July this year, I have certainly seen evidence of more people taking the plunge with property purchases and, with up to £15,000 savings on offer, who can blame them?
The changes introduced by the Chancellor raise the initial threshold for anyone buying a home from £125k to £500k, which means the majority of purchases in England and Northern Ireland will not be liable for stamp duty, providing they complete before 31 March 2021.
People buying additional properties are also benefiting from a lower SDLT rate of 3% for second homes and buy to let.
If you’re thinking of buying while the SDLT holiday is in place, you’ll need to move fast, as property transactions must be completed by the end of March to qualify for the saving and with mortgage providers and searches taking longer than usual at the moment, time is definitely of the essence.
Homeworking and coronavirus restrictions have led to people spending much more time at home than would otherwise have been the case. This, coupled with the SDLT holiday, has undoubtedly led people to reflect on their home environment and evolving requirements with many concluding that now is the time for a change.