Comment: Movers reap the rewards of stamp duty holiday

Movers set to complete between now and March 31 will save up to £15,000 in stamp duty. Picture: Gett

Movers set to complete between now and March 31 will save up to £15,000 in stamp duty. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Well, that was a memorable week.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s announcement that the government was lifting the stamp duty threshold from £125,000 to £500,000 was music to the ears of movers, with many in our area set to save the full £15,000.

While this may be a small proportion of the total amount typically changing hands in our pricey part of Herts, it can make a massive amount of difference to over-stretched movers.

Rishi’s plan to keep the economy moving seems to have reaped immediate rewards, with estate agents reporting a spike in calls from buyers whose budgets are suddenly a little bigger than they were a week ago.

Personally, I’m surprised it’s happened. A rumoured stamp duty holiday was a hot topic back in May, with everyone from Rightmove to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) calling on the government to put the much-maligned tax on hold to help the floundering property market.

Then things went quiet, and it seemed like the hoped-for threshold shift wasn’t going to materialise.

It was in the back of our minds as we worked our way through the fog of our long-winded sale, navigating furloughed estate agents, missing building regs documentation and general anxiety over whether the market was due to plummet.

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Our sale had been set to complete in late June, but an unexpected hitch pushed things back to August, placing us weeks off completion when Rishi made his move.

Frustrating a few weeks ago, absolutely brilliant last Wednesday, when we suddenly found ourselves thousands of pounds better off.

For those who had only just bought a new home, it’s a different, deeply frustrating story. However much money you have, £15,000 is a huge saving. To miss out by a matter of hours would be utterly awful.

It remains to be seen if this attempt to kick-start the economy will work.

But with buyers now incentivised to make their move it can only be a good thing for the property market – in the short term at least.