Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s Budget contained some good news for homebuyers and the property market.
The Stamp Duty Land Tax holiday for house sales under £500,000, which was due to end on 31 March, has been extended until 30 June. It will then be tapered until the end of September, so sales below £250,000 will still be nil rated for SDLT.
This extension of the Stamp Duty Land Tax holiday to June, and then doubling the nil rate threshold until September is very good news for homebuyers. For example, the average house price in Swindon – where we help homebuyers and sellers with legal conveyancing – is now around £243,000. This means, the bulk of property transactions in the town will remain free of SDLT until the end of September.
The news is especially good for buyers who feared their sale might not complete before the 31 March deadline. The SDLT holiday had created a bulge in the housing market, with buyers rushing to take advantage of a tax cut with the potential to save them several thousands of pounds on their transaction.
Under a new scheme, the Government announced it would back up to 95 per cent of a mortgage for buyers, meaning then need to find just 5 per cent for the deposit. The scheme is similar to the Help to Buy: Mortgage Guarantee scheme which ended in 2016, but this time is not limited to just first-time buyers or new-build homes.
The scheme will begin in April and will be available on new mortgages taken out until 31 December 2022, on homes costing up to £600,000.
Several lenders are already on board. According to the Chancellor, from next month Lloyds, NatWest, Santander, Barclays and HSBC will offer the mortgages, while others – including Virgin Money – will follow suit.
At Optimum, we are Swindon conveyancers, helping provide legal advice to people buying and selling houses. If you are looking for a property solicitor, please get in touch.