The budget is out, with £15.3 billion new financial support for house building over the next five years and with the Government setting aside £1.2 billion to buy land and £2.7 billion for related infrastructure. The Government announced plans to create five new so-called ‘garden’ towns, and there was a headline-grabbing cut in stamp duty for first time buyers.
Stamp duty is currently paid on property purchases over £125,000, with a ‘slice’ tax where buyers pay at the relevant rate for each band, rather than a flat rate across the whole amount. With immediate effect, stamp duty is abolished for first-time buyers on properties worth up to £300,000, or on the first £300,000 of a property worth up to £500,000.
Property law expert and Solicitor Johanna Withams based in our Bishop’s Stortford office said: “The change in stamp duty has caught most of the attention. It’s certainly a move that will be welcomed by first time buyers, but does add yet more complexity to the application of this particular tax, where we already have different rates for second home owners and landlords.
“Buyers need to read the small print before rushing out to make an offer, as there are clear distinctions on who is eligible. It will not apply if any property has been owned at any previous time, whether here or anywhere else in the world, and it must be the only or main home for the buyer. In a joint purchase, everyone would need to qualify as a first-time buyer. Buyers will need to check out the detail with their solicitor, and the benefit must be claimed when the Stamp Duty Land Tax return is made to HMRC during the purchase process.”
If you have any questions, or wish to discuss your potential purchase through with us, please give us a call at any of our offices based in Bishop’s Stortford, Hertford and Enfield. 01279 715555, 01992 558411 or 0208 366 6411
Web site content note:
This is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.