Stamp duty holiday: what does it mean for you?

July 9th, 2020

On July 8th 2020, the chancellor – Rishi Sunak – announced a temporary ‘holiday’ on stamp duty on the first £500,000 of property sales in England and Wales. We take a look at what this could mean for you.

How much stamp duty will I pay now?

No stamp duty is paid on any main residence that costs less than £500,000. If the property price is between £500,001 and £925,000 then Stamp Duty will be charged at 5%. A property worth between £925,001 and £1.5 million will be taxed at 10%. People buying properties over this threshold (over £1.5 million) will need to pay 12%.

How long will the ‘stamp duty holiday’ last for?

Available from the 8th July 2020, the holiday will run until 31st March 2021.

I’ve just completed on a property, am I eligible?

If you completed before July 8th, then unfortunately not. However, if you’ve exchanged contracts but are still waiting for completion then you will benefit.

Does it apply for second homes?

For a second home, you’ll still have to pay an extra 3% in stamp duty on top of the revised rates.

How will this affect the housing market?

During lockdown, the housing market came to a sudden halt and property prices fell by 1.4%. However, this has started to turn around since May 12th, when the government announced the re- opening of the housing market. We believe that the stamp duty holiday will encourage those who were considering moving in the future to move faster, as to take advantage of the government scheme. This could give the housing market the boost it needs to return to its pre-lockdown level.

Am I able to look around a property, despite the pandemic?

Yes. Estate agents have worked to ensure viewings are as risk-free as possible – if you have any concerns, do check with your estate agent directly. Virtual viewings are also available through most agents.

I’m interested in moving, how soon can you process my property transaction?

Our offices are still open and our solicitors are dealing with property transactions every day. Many variables can affect the speed of a property sale/purchase, but our team are on hand to begin your conveyancing immediately.

Get in touch today if you have any questions.