The recent budget contained some good news for property owners and purchasers.
The ‘stamp duty holiday’ for properties in England and Northern Ireland has been extended from its proposed end date of 31st March to 30th June 2021. During this time there will be no basic stamp duty on residential property purchases in England and Northern Ireland of up to £500,000 (although the added stamp duty, currently 3%, for second homes and let properties will continue). After 30 June, the starting point for stamp duty will reduce to £250,000 until 30 September, when it will return to its previous level of £125,000.
This provides a further opportunity to save costs on property purchases in England and Northern Ireland in the near future.
Scotland and Wales have their own equivalent to stamp duty with different rates. No change to the existing arrangements has been announced by the Scottish government so the 31st March deadline remains if that is where your property is located. But the Welsh government has confirmed that the increase of the Nil band of Land Transaction Tax to £250,000 will continue to 30th June for properties in Wales.
A return to 95% residential mortgages has also been announced in the form of a new Mortgage Guarantee Scheme, with the government incentivising lenders by providing guarantees for loans above 90%.
Add to the above the easing of planning reforms already in place or proposed which, for example, enable the building of a two-storey extension to a residential home without the need for planning permission and there are plenty of reasons for property owners and investors to feel confident about the future.