Save Money with the Stamp Duty Holiday
There aren’t many industries that haven’t been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The property sector is one that’s been hit particularly hard. According to figures from the Evening Standard, 50,000 fewer people bought a new home in the first half of 2020 compared to the previous year.
As we enter the first quarter of 2021, now might just be the optimal time to consider a move. This is because there is still time to avoid stamp duty on any move away. Last July, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the stamp duty holiday which can save buyers up to £15,000. However, this is scheduled to end on 31st March, meaning you need to act fast if you want to make the most of it.
What is Stamp Duty?
Stamp Duty, or Stamp Duty Reserve Tax (SDTR), is a tax that most people buying a property will be faced with. Stamp duty is always paid by the buyer, and how much is paid is determined by a number of factors including the location of the property and how much you’re paying for it.
There have been many stamp duty reforms over the years, including in July last year when the Chancellor announced a stamp duty holiday. This means that since July 2020 and until 31st March 2021, buyers will not be required to pay any stamp duty.
And it has clearly worked. Since the stamp duty holiday was announced, there have been 140,000 additional sales, according to a report from Zoopla, demonstrating the effectiveness of the scheme.
Will there be an extension on the stamp duty holiday?
So far, the government has indicated that there will be no extension to the stamp duty holiday. But, there is mounting pressure on the government from those in the industry who are calling for it to be extended. This includes the Guild of Property Professionals, who have written a letter to the government encouraging them to reconsider the date of the deadline.
The letter has been backed by a wide range of organisations in the industry, as well as a number of MPs, who believe a phasing out period rather than a strict deadline would be a better approach. However, despite the success of the holiday, the deadline still remains in place for the time being.
What do I need to do?
If you’re a homebuyer or buy-to-let investor, you need to act fast to make the most of the stamp duty holiday.
Any purchase completed before the deadline will avoid having to pay stamp duty. The best way to swiftly complete the process is to purchase a property outside of a chain, such as a new build directly from a developer.
As well as this, ensure all of your paperwork is in order. Apply for a mortgage in principle, so that you’re ready to go when you’ve made a decision on a property. Having all your paperwork in order will help conveyancers and estate agents get the ball rolling, giving you the best possible chance of completing any deal before the stamp duty holiday comes to an end.
If you’re moving house and require a specialist removals team, look no further than Britannia Sandersteads. For more information on our range of services, get in touch today.