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What will happen at the end of the stamp duty holiday?

The stamp duty holiday announced by the government last year to help stimulate the housing market comes to an end on 31st March 2021.  Whilst the government announced in December 2020 that it would not be extended, it has said that it will be ‘kept under review’ and there are still rumours that Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, might revisit this in his annual budget on 3rd March 2022.

stamp duty holidayAt present, from 1st April 2021, stamp duty will once again become payable on property from the value of £125,000 – rather than £500,000, which is the starting threshold during the stamp duty holiday. First time buyers will continue to benefit from increased stamp duty thresholds whereby stamp duty only becomes payable on property over £300,000 and 5% on property over that, up to £500,000.   Thereafter, stamp duty is payable at the standard rate on the whole cost of the property.

There has been a significant increase in the number of property transactions since the stamp duty holiday was announced in July 2020.  Whilst this is of course good for the property market and the economy in general, it has led to some delays and some people are worried that they are not going to complete their sale or purchase before the end of the scheme.

stamp duty holiday

Caroline Murray

We would normally anticipate that it may take between 8-12 weeks for your sale/purchase to complete from receipt of initial documentation.  However, due to COVID-19 related factors and current pressures on professionals, mortgage lenders, local authorities and search providers, transactions are, on average, taking longer to complete.

Whilst there is growing optimism that the stamp duty holiday will be extended, as things stand, in order to benefit from savings under the stamp duty holiday, transactions will need to complete on or before 31 March 2021.  We are working closely with estate agents and other professionals and, whilst we will do everything that we can to achieve completions by this deadline, we cannot guarantee that every completion will take place by this date.

Author: Caroline Murray, partner and head of Graysons’ property team.



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