Stamp Duty Threshold Raised in a Bid to Help Buyers

Sutton Coldfield-based business advisors and accountants Weatherer Bailey Bragg LLP are informing individuals that the government has announced a package of measures to help boost a struggling property market, including raising the stamp duty land tax threshold by £50,000.  Brought in for a twelve month period from 3rd September 2008 to 3rd September 2009, a home must now sell for £175,000 before stamp duty is paid.

According to the government, this move will take half of properties into exemption from stamp duty.  Previously, when the threshold was at £125,000, there were a third of properties that were exempt from the tax.

Early speculation says that this move will cost the treasury £600 million.  The government has promised to provide more details relating to how this move will be financed in the chancellor’s autumn pre-budget report.

Other measures announced include; an extension of the powers of councils and housing associations, allowing them to pay off homeowner debt, and then charge rent on the property and a reduction in the duration before which income support for mortgage interest is paid.  This will now be paid after 13 weeks instead of the previous 39 week period.

The government has also introduced HomeBuy Direct; a scheme that offers 5 year loans of up to 30% of the value of a new property for first time buyers.  Households earning less that £60,000 will be eligible for the loans, which will be ‘free of charge’ for 5 years, with a fee payable at the end of this period.

Steve Horsley comments:  “This is good news for the property market, as it is a beneficial move for buyers without forcing sellers to necessarily compromise their position.  The government has come under fire with many people accusing them of pulling yet another publicity stunt.  However, homeowners do look set to benefit from this move, and should get in touch if they would like further information on how they will be affected.”

For more information, contact Weatherer Bailey Bragg on 0121 355 1901.