The Government has revived an old favourite to help first time buyers.
The Government’s excuse on ending the last SDLT holiday for first time buyers was that it did not benefit enough people to justify being retained which I found hard to believe at the time.
As from today, for time buyers only, the exemption on Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) is increased from £125,000 to £300,000 and in London and “other property hotspots” exempt for the first £300,000 on a property up to £500,000. On a property being purchased for £200,000 the change will save the buyers £1,500. Not much in the great scheme of things but every little helps!
The small print isn’t yet known but it is likely that it will follow the last SDLT holiday in defining first time buyers as not owning or having an interest in another property anywhere in the world. A further blog will appear when these are known.
The change will not be retrospective. Therefore if first time buyers completed their purchase yesterday they will lose out as they will still have to pay the duty even though their conveyancer may not pay the duty until today or later.
By Peter Pownall