Since becoming Prime Minister on 24th July 2019, Boris Johnson has proposed several changes within the property sector to improve market conditions and buyer confidence. But what are the plans and how could they affect you?
- Raise the Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) threshold to £500,000. If put into place, property purchases under this value would be exempt from SDLT. At present, first time buyers and those purchasing a property under the value of £125,000 are not required to pay to SDLT. The revised threshold would open the market for thousands of buyers, as well as giving first time buyers the option to buy a home over the current limit of £300,000.
- Reduce the top rate of SDLT from 12% to 7%. Currently, buyers must pay SDLT in increasing portions, with any portion over £1.5 million subject to a rate of 12%. Johnson’s proposal would lift the top end of the market.
- Pass the responsibility of paying SDLT to the seller instead of the buyer. This possibility would make it easier for those upsizing but may not be as fortuitous for downsizers.Although this may simplify SDLT rules (for example, there would not be a need for a separate scale for second/additional properties), homeowners would be subject to paying tax twice if the proposal was put into place. The legislation to introduce such a significant change would be in a queue behind the most pressing issues.
Since the proposals were announced, there has been lots of comments from endorsement to fears of resulting property price increases.
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