Of all taxes, Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) is one of the more debatable (and liked) as it significantly slows the pace at which the housing market can operate. It is particularly restrictive on first-time buyers who make a significant contribution to a functioning market. Less first time buyers, less second-time buyers to buy their next property, and so on and so forth.
We previously wrote about Boris Johnson’s ‘promise’ to raise the threshold at which buyers start paying SDLT to £500,000, but as with everything over the past few months, Covid has thrown the rule book out the window.
Currently, no tax is paid on the first £125,000. 2% up to £250,000 and then 5% up to £500,000. First-time buyers pay nothing up to £300,000. A property worth £450,00 would cost a first-time buyer £7,500 and everyone else £12,500 (buyers of second properties face higher charges).
Today’s announcement will see no tax paid up to £500,000 for properties that are the buyer’s main home, starting today and running until 31 March 2021.