What has changed?
Due to COVID, the government has announced a temporary stamp duty holiday from 8 July 2020 to 31 March 2021. This means that if you complete your purchase (at which point you own the house and get the keys) during this time, you pay £0 for properties costing up to £500,000.
If you have exchanged contracts but not yet completed, you will still benefit from this. If you are house hunting now, be cautious that you have to complete by 31 March 2021 – it’s currently unclear what happens if your purchase gets delayed, but chances are you might then have to pay the normal rates again that applied before the holiday.
Are there differences for different kind of home buyers?
Crucially this applies to BOTH, First Time Buyers and those who have owned property before. However, what has not really been picked up by the news is that the holiday does NOT really apply to those looking to buy a second home. The government website states:
Higher rates for additional propertieshttps://www.gov.uk/guidance/stamp-duty-land-tax-temporary-reduced-rates
The 3% higher rate for purchases of additional dwellings applies on top of revised standard rates above for the period 8 July 2020 to 31 March 2021.
To find out more, check out the following sites:
- Government website explaining the new rules: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/stamp-duty-land-tax-temporary-reduced-rates
- Article on MoneySavingExpert: https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/news/2020/07/sunak-stamp-duty-announcement-/
- Article on BBC: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-53319433