Don’t miss out on the ‘Stamp Duty holiday’

On behalf of Attwaters Jameson Hill posted in Residential Property on Tuesday, July 14th, 2020

Following on the heels of his £160bn coronavirus support package in March, Rishi Sunak stood up once again in the House of Commons on 8 July to unveil the second phase in the government’s economic response to the COVID-19 pandemic – “a plan for jobs”. As well as plans to get young people into work and concessions to boost spending within the tourism and leisure industries, the Chancellor also announced a temporary cut to Stamp Duty, which has become known as the ‘Stamp Duty holiday’, to get the property market moving after a 10-week shutdown.

So, what is the Stamp Duty holiday?

From 8 July 2020 through to 31 March 2021 inclusive, the threshold at which buyers must begin to pay Stamp Duty on their purchase has increased from £125,000 to £500,000. The change means that nearly 90% of buyers who complete their transaction during this period will pay no Stamp Duty at all, saving an average of £4,500 – and potentially a lot more. To view the new rates and thresholds, visit our webpage here.

Who stands to benefit?

If you’d exchanged contracts but not yet completed on 8 July, you’re in luck as Stamp Duty is only payable upon completion of your transaction. And of course, anybody actively looking to buy within the next nine months stands to save – whether a first-time buyer or a previous property owner.

Furthermore, although additional properties were omitted from the Stamp Duty holiday (second homes, holiday homes and buy-to-let properties all incur an additional Stamp Duty charge of 3% on top of standard rates), landlords and additional home buyers still stand to benefit. This is because they will only have to pay 3% SDLT on transactions up to £500,000, instead of up to 8% on homes of this value prior to 8 July.

How to take advantage

Although there are huge variations in the amount of time it can take to complete a property transaction, figures from the Homeowners Alliance suggest that, from property listing to completion, it can take up to six months to buy a house. With a nine-month time limit on the Chancellor’s offer, then, the best thing you can do to ensure you take advantage is to get moving as soon as possible.

How to speed up the buying process

The number one way you can speed up the process and complete on or before 31 March is to instruct an expert Residential Property solicitor as soon as possible. Our team has years of experience in dealing with conveyancing transactions of all sizes and levels of complexity, meaning that we understand the various issues that can occur along the way and are primed to react to them quickly when they do arise. Where a chain is involved in your purchase, having a good solicitor on your side can mean the difference between completing your transaction successfully and having your chain collapse, with all the disappointment and wasted money that comes along with it.

An experienced and proactive conveyancer can also significantly speed up processes such as conveyancing searches with your local authority. These are often a major source of delay in property transactions, but our solicitors know to get the ball rolling and chase up any delays to ensure they don’t derail your purchase.  

Don’t delay – get in touch

To get in touch, and be one step closer on your way to a Stamp Duty-free home, contact our Partner Sheri-Anne Mizon, who has over two decades’ experience in complex property cases. Call her on 0203 871 0007 or email her at sheri-anne.mizon@attwaters.co.uk.

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