To help get the UK housing market moving, the government has temporarily reduced the rates of Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) for residential properties purchased from 8 July 2020 to 31 March 2021 inclusive.
If you buy a residential property during this time, you only have to pay SDLT on the amount you pay over £500,000. This applies whether or not you’re a first-time buyer. (The rates are different if you’re buying an additional property.) On 1 April 2021, the rates go back to their previous levels.
As a result, ‘For Sale’ signs are appearing in many roads.
In the latest report by national estate agency, Savills, they predict that:
- GDP will fall 8.3% in 2020 and rebound by 5% in 2021
- The Bank of England base rate will remain at its historic low of 0.1% until 2022
- UK house prices will fall by 7.5% during 2020
- UK house prices will rise by 15.1% by 2024
Of course these are averages, and the housing markets are expected to recover faster in areas that have resilient employment sectors. A ‘hard Brexit’ at the end of 2020 is also likely to have an impact, but property looks like a good investment over the long term.
What this means to you
We anticipate that this temporarily reduced rate will make it possible for some people to move who couldn’t otherwise afford it.
If you are looking to buy a residential property, we can deal with everything for you to help everything go smoothly. Among other things, it’s solicitors like us who usually have to collect the SDLT from buyers and pass it on to HMRC. Note that it’s important to choose your conveyancing solicitor based on quality, not on price.
For example, here’s what one client said about our service: “Sian was very efficient and effective. We valued her calm, professional approach – especially when there seemed to be uncertainties with our buyer and their solicitor.”
If you need any help or advice, please give us a call.