Stamp Duty Land Tax holiday is good news for homebuyers

by Iain Mason

Published on 8th July 2020

The Chancellor’s announcement that he is raising the threshold for Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) to be paid on property sales is welcome news for homebuyers in Swindon and Wiltshire.

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.

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.

For more information about the conveyancing process, or for legal help with your property sale or purchase, please get in touch.

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