Comment: Movers reap the rewards of stamp duty holiday

PUBLISHED: 08:21 16 July 2020 | UPDATED: 08:21 16 July 2020

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

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

Archant

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.

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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.

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.


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