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Chancellor Introduces Stamp Duty Holiday Extension in UK Budget 2021

Update: In the 2021 UK Budget update, the Chancellor has officially announced the extension of the Stamp Duty Holiday. Currently, properties up to £500,000 pay 0% Stamp Duty Land Tax, a rate which will now continue until 30th June 2021. At this point, the nil band rate will drop to £250,000 until the end of September, at which point normal rates will continue.

At the same time, the Chancellor also announced a new mortgage guarantee scheme, offering government-backed low deposit mortgages to buyers, in a move designed to turn ‘Generation Rent into Generation Buy’. The 95% mortgages are expected to be available for all buyers of properties costing up to £600,000 – which accounts for nearly 86% of UK homes for sale according to Rightmove data. Andy Foote, director at SevenCapital believes this news will only be good for both investors and buyers:

“This is a positive budget for the property market announced today. The extension of the stamp duty holiday as it is until June, and the lesser anticipated extension of a holiday on properties up to the value of £250,000 will go a long way in avoiding a collapse in transactions – as previously feared.

“Given the average UK house price sits at around £252,000 overall, and with properties in the Midlands and North of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland individually sitting at a lower average, this effectively means the average buyer can continue with new purchases through to September.

“Will this mean simply delaying a stall in market activity? We will see, however in the short term, considering the significantly higher level of transactions the industry is currently fighting to complete, this is good news. It is likely we may see a further boost to transactions over the next six months.”

Investors will also be relieved to see that there will not be a hike in Capital Gains Tax – despite rumours to the contrary. After multiple tax storms over the years, another hike could have potentially tipped many investors over the edge and subsequently impacted the rental market. Thankfully, that has been avoided.

Original: Since an online petition of over 100,000 signatures demanded an extension to the Stamp Duty holiday to be debated at the House of Commons, the possibilities surrounding this outcome have been at the forefront of property news. This decision has been reliant on the Budget – a forecast of UK spend that shapes both the country’s and society’s finances. While Chancellor Rishi Sunak claimed that a six month extension would be impractical for the Treasury, an additional three months are due to be added to the initial deadline – taking it to the end of June 2021.

The Stamp Duty holiday was introduced in July 2020 as part of a set of initiatives designed to sustain the UK property market. Offering buyers the opportunity to save up to £15,000 on Stamp Duty Land Tax, this relief catalysed a post-lockdown boom in UK property and has continued to sustain the industry well into 2021. Not only did the average house price endure a 7.5% growth, but the market reached record breaking highs for six consecutive months. 

As the transaction process became longer, and the Stamp Duty holiday grew closer, a sense of urgency continued to sustain property demand, with mortgage applications up 15% in January. This has left over 412,000 transactions still in the pipeline, many of whom have been relying on the Stamp Duty holiday extension. 

With hundreds of thousands eager to complete before the Stamp Duty deadline, this three month extension will be enormous for the property market. Rightmove initially predicted that just a six week extension would allow between 120,000 and 160,000 more sales to qualify for Stamp Duty relief, meaning these additional three months could allow at least 260,000 more buyers to benefit from the holiday. By the end of June, the Stamp Duty holiday will have collectively saved UK buyers over £1 billion in tax.

This extension of the Stamp Duty holiday could also have wider effects on the property industry, with buyer confidence restored and a sense of urgency having the potential to boost property prices further.

It’s unsurprising that a Stamp Duty holiday extension has been at the top of buyer priorities. With lockdown representing an opportunity to reflect on their living situation for many homebuyers and investors, a survey by PropertyReporter of over 8,000 people found that nearly 40% of respondents were eager for an extension, whilst the remaining 60% opted for social housing solutions and additional support for the private rented sector. 

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