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How will Rishi Sunak's stamp duty holiday affect different house-buyers?

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak recently announced a stamp duty holiday until the end of March 2021, further underlining the key role UK property will play in the country’s post COVID-19 recovery.

More people buying homes is good news for the economy. And, as UK business and industry begins to re-emerge from lockdown, the government hopes that increased relief from stamp duty land tax (SDLT) will prompt a new wave of purchases and investments over the next 7-8 months. Until 31 March 2021, anyone buying a residential home in England and Northern Ireland as their primary residence will not pay SDLT on any property that’s valued below £500,000 - up from £125,000 previously.

Sunak said: “We need people to feel confident. Confident to buy, sell, move and improve that will drive growth and that will create jobs. So, to catalyse the market and boost confidence I have decided today to cut stamp duty.”

Do the changes also apply to property investors and overseas buyers?
Yes, however, if you are a UK resident that’s purchasing a second home or a BTL, you are still subject to a 3% SDLT surcharge. This also applies to any overseas-based purchaser buying a property in England or Northern Ireland for investment purposes. However, these changes only apply to residential property, not purpose-built student accommodation.

Prior to the new changes, if a landlord bought a property in England or Northern Ireland valued at £499,000, they would need to pay £29,920 (6%) in SDLT. Now, however, the same property would only be subject to £14,970 (3%) in SDLT. That’s a saving of around £15,000.

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