The prophets of doom were predicting a 30% fall in the value of UK housing stock as a result of Brexit, Covid and the economic hangover of lockdown.
Of course, not only was there no property apocalypse, in its place we actually saw one of the fastest periods of house price growth for a generation. UK house prices rose 8% in the year to July, according to the Office for National Statistics.
One of the reasons for this was the stamp duty holiday.
But now the stamp duty holiday is over, and at Continuum we are looking at what this might mean to you and your property plans.
What is stamp duty?
We pay stamp duty when we buy a property.
Property sales used to require a physical stamp attached to the contract to show that duty had been paid. The stamp is long gone, but the duty known as Stamp Duty Land Tax in England and Northern Ireland, Land and Buildings Transaction Tax in Scotland and Land Transaction Tax in Wales is back with us
It is a tax, pure and simple. The government’s annual take from stamp duty is about £12bn, according to latest HM Revenue and Customs figures and equivalent to 2% of the tax the Treasury collects.
It means that someone spending £248,000 – the average cost of a house – will pay £2,460 in stamp duty to move home. During the stamp duty holiday, the tax was simply not levied. At the upper end of the market this meant a saving of up to £15,000.
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From 1 October, home buyers have had to pay stamp duty on all purchases above £125,000. The tax is arranged on a sliding scale:
£0-£125,000 = 0%
£125,001-£250,000 = 2%
£250,001-£925,000 = 5%
£925,001-£1,500,000 = 10%
£1,500,001+ = 12%
The costs for people buying second homes and investment properties may be even higher. You can use the government’s Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) calculator to find out exactly how much you will pay.
However, there remains an important concession. First-time buyers do not have to pay any stamp duty on property purchases up to £300,000.
In Scotland, the current rates of Land and Buildings Transaction Tax are:
0% on £0-£145,000
2% on £145,001-£250,000
5% on £250,001-£325,000
10% on £325,001-£750,000
12% on any value above £750,000
Scottish landlords pay an extra 4% Land and Buildings Transaction Tax on top of standard rates.
Did the stamp duty holiday put up prices?
Estate agents across the UK reported a surge of interest in March as buyers and sellers rushed to complete property deals before the scheme was initially due to end. There was a second burst of demand when the holiday was extended until June and then again until September.
Obviously, the final end of the holiday will affect the housing market, but it might be seen in a slowdown in sales, rather than a fall in prices.
There is no longer any panic to buy to take advantage of the holiday savings, but low mortgage interest rates and a switch in focus to larger properties remain.
Back to business as usual?
The property market proved itself robust enough to thrive during the economic storm, and it should be able to go back to business as usual without any problems.
The rate of house price growth may slow a little, but it shows every sign of continuing to grow. So although you may have missed out on the savings of the stamp duty holiday, if you are considering a move, you may want to do it sooner rather than later.
Get the mortgage that’s right for you
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With no tax savings to take advantage of, getting the best mortgage deal for your particular needs is more important than ever.
At Continuum we put your interests first and search the entire market including mortgages that are only offered through expert advisers like ourselves to find the mortgage product that is right for you.
The holidays are over, but we can still help you pay less for your next home.
The information contained in this article is based on the opinion of Continuum and does not constitute financial advice or a recommendation to suitable mortgage product, you should seek independent financial advice before embarking on any course of action.
Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.