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  • Joshua Smith

Will There be a Stamp Duty Reform in the Spring Statement?

Will there be a stamp duty reform in the Spring Statement? It is widely known that there were three things which were slowing down the property market in the UK, especially London and the South East. These were Brexit, a change in government and extortionate stamp duty charges. Two of the three have been overcome giving buyers confidence to come out of the woodwork in 2020, the third could be overcome by Boris in the Spring Statement. It is said that the high costs of stamp duty are preventing families from moving and upsizing, they are preventing the elderly from downsizing, leaving a lack of supply for young people looking to move into these homes. A reform in stamp duty land tax could really stimulate the market for the coming years. When Boris came in to power he mentioned the the stamp duty charges were 'absurd', he believes that the one thing that George Osbourne got wrong was stamp duty, he believes in lower taxes which will then increase enterprise.

The government has mentioned that they could raise the stamp duty threshold from £125,000 to £500,000 and cut the top SDLT rate from 12% to 7%. Would these changes increase the chance of moving home this year? How do you think that a change like this will effect your circumstances?

Furthermore, prospective non-resident (overseas) buyers would be well advised to act now to ensure they are protected as much as possible from any new surcharge introduced as part of this Budget announcement. No formal announcement is expected before Budget day, but one widely anticipated change is the introduction of a new 3% surcharge for overseas buyers of residential properties in the UK - this would be in addition to the existing stamp duty charges applicable to all buyers in the UK.

In short, if you know anyone looking to purchase in the UK before then, you may want to suggest they prioritise their intention to purchase before the end of April. Whilst it is impossible to predict the future, it may well be that this has an impact on the Spring market, certainly in the upper quartile. If I can be of help to you or anyone in your world with a property related requirement, please just let me know.

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