RISHI Sunak has unveiled a stamp duty holiday which could save home buyers thousands of pounds.
The Chancellor hopes to boost property sales as the country eases out of lockdown – but how much can the holiday save you?
Chancellor Rishi Sunak is expected to announce an up to £500,000 stamp duty holiday for home buyers in England and Northern Ireland
The chancellor announced the plans in his mini-Budget on July 8.
Under the measures, the stamp duty-free threshold for homebuyers in England and Northern Ireland has risen to £500,000.
The tax holiday applies from July 8, 2020, until March 31, 2021.
Campaign group the Home Owners Alliance (HOA) says this will save almost 900,000 people from forking out on stamp duty, and the saving could be as large as £30,000 for some.
We take a look at how much you could save, and how to calculate any potential savings.
Just bear in mind that this article applies to England and Northern Ireland only as stamp duty rates differ in Scotland and Wales.
How much could I save on stamp duty?
How much you could save from not having to pay stamp duty depends on how much the house costs, and whether or not it’s a second property, but it could be tens of thousands.
This means that a home mover purchasing a house costing a typical £320,000, for example, would save £6,000 now that the stamp duty threshold has moved to £500,000, says accountancy and tax firm Blik Rothenberg.
Meanwhile, a downsizer purchasing a new home for £315,000 would save £5,750, according to Blik Rothenberg.
Of course, this assumes the asking price hasn’t been jacked up as a result of any savings the seller knows buyers are making – something experts say could happen.
When it comes to first-time buyers, as of November 2017 they already get the first £300,000 of purchases stamp duty free on properties costing up to £500,000.
The changes will only affect those who are buying a property worth more than £300,000 as they will no longer have to pay the tax on the portion that’s worth up to half a million pounds.
A first-time buyer who buys a property ahead of March 31 2021 for £500,000 would save £10,000, Peter Gettins of mortgage broker L&C Mortgages, told the Sun.
Second home owners and buy-to-let landlords will also benefit from the increased threshold of £500,000, but they will still have to pay a surcharge compared to ordinary home buyers.
Additional properties are taxed at higher rates of stamp duty – it’s three per cent on purchases up to £125,000, five per cent on the portion worth between £125,001 and £250,000 and eight per cent on costs between £250,001 and £925,000.
How do I calculate how much I will save?
To calculate how much you could save, you need to compare how much stamp duty you would have paid under the old system compared to now.
Assuming you’re purchasing a home in England and Northern Ireland that will be your only property, here are the previous stamp duty rates – add on 3 per cent at every stage if you’re buying an additional property:
- First-time buyers pay nothing on properties below £300,000 (relief available on properties of up to £500,000)
- You pay nothing if the property costs below £125,000
- You pay 2 per cent if it is worth between £125,001 and £250,000
- You pay 5 per cent if between £250,001 and up to £925,000
- You pay 10 per cent if it is between £925,001 and £1.5million
- You pay 12 per cent on anything over £1.5million
So, say you’re a home mover buying a home for £320,000. In this scenario, you pay nothing on the first £125,000.
On the chunk between £125,000.01 and £250,000 you pay 2 per cent. To work this out subtract £125,000.01 from £250,000 to get £124,999.99.
Then divide this figure by 100 to find 1 per cent, and then multiply it by two to get 2 per cent, which is £2,499.99.
Next, you pay 5 per cent on the chunk between £250,000.01 and in this case £320,000. So first, subtract £250,000.01 from £320,000 to get £69,999.99.
Then take this figure and divide it by 100 to get 1 per cent, and then multiply it by five to get 5 per cent, which is £3,499.99.
To find out your total stamp duty bill, you then add together £2,499.99 and £3,499.99 to get £5,999.98.
Now that the stamp duty free threshold has been moved to £500,000, you’d pay nothing on that same £320,000 property.
Are there any stamp duty calculators I can use?
There are a number of free calculators online that you can use to work out how much stamp duty you currently have to pay, such as with the Money Advice Service and Gov.uk.
But many of these have not yet been updated, so you will have to work out your stamp duty manually for now.
It is also worth remembering that stamp duty will revert back to standard rates for any purchase after 1 April 2021.
Experts say that a stamp duty holiday will encourage more home owners to move, helping to kickstart economic activity in other sectors.