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    Stamp Duty Holiday: Why Buyers Must Act Now

    In July, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced temporary changes to Stamp Duty (SDLT) in England.

    As any homeowner will know (or any first-time buyer should know), Stamp Duty is the lump-sum tax that anyone who purchases a property or land must pay over a certain threshold. Previously, the threshold figure was payable on purchases over £125,000, ensuring it applied to most properties across the UK.

    However, due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, changes have been made by the government to increase the threshold in which you will pay tax on a property purchase by a significant amount.

    From July 2020, Stamp Duty has been wavered on any residential properties worth up to £500,000 and will be in place until March 2021.

    With the new changes in place, it is now expected that 9 in every 10 buyers will be exempt from Stamp Duty.

    But in order to make the most of the Chancellor’s stamp duty relief, buyers need to act now.

    While March may seem a while away, most property sales usually take at least three months to complete – so, in order to receive the exceptional savings available from the Stamp Duty holiday, the latest deadline to buy is realistically December 2020.

    However, with many agencies, mortgage lenders and conveyancers still not operating at full-capacity or facing backlogs due to Covid-19, it is recommended to much act sooner than December.

    While the deadline does not leave much time left for potential buyers to buy – the savings available are more than worth the limited time. It is estimated that buyers will save at least an average of £4,500.

    During the 2008 recession, the Government introduced a similar Stamp Duty holiday to encourage people to buy. However, the lead-up to the deadline date in 2009/10 resulted in chaos for estate agents, mortgage lenders, conveyances, and surveyors.

    In order to avoid the panicked rush that will come with many transactions trying to get over the line at the last minute, many people are urging for an extension to avoid agencies getting overwhelmed closer to the deadline.

    While we’re currently unsure whether the Government will choose to extend the deadline, we can be sure that in order to be in with a chance of completing a sale before the deadline ends, fast-action is required.

    With Manchester property rates growing annually by around 7.4%, and the current Stamp Duty holiday, there is no time like the present to become a homeowner in Manchester.

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