The announcement in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement regarding a change to stamp duty has been warmly welcomed by estate agents, who see the move as a positive step towards housing market growth.
George Osborne has implemented a tiered tax rate – 0% on properties up to £125,000; 2% on those ranging from £125,000 to £250,000; 5% on houses between £250,000 and £925,000; and so on. This means (for example) that on a property costing £275,000 the buyer will only pay the highest rate on the final £25,000, saving an estimated £4,500 on the previous system.
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors believe that the changes will boost sales across the country, a view confirmed by estate agents.
Under the old system, the £250,000 price banding must a turn-off for some buyers, meaning that sellers had to undervalue their homes to fall within the threshold. That has now changed.
“The reduction now isn’t enormous, but it gives them the confidence to make an offer,” commented Nick Stanton, senior manager of Manchester estate agency Bridgfords.