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Stamp Duty Land Tax Cuts: What They Mean For You

10 October 2022 / Buying

On Friday 23rd September, the former Chancellor of the Exchequer Kwasi Kwarteng told the nation: “Cuts to Stamp Duty will get the housing market moving and support first-time buyers to put down roots.” His tax changes came into force that midnight, and unlike previous temporary Stamp Duty measures, these were set to be permanent – and are unlikely to be undone by the new Chancellor.

So what do they mean for Stirling Ackroyd’s customers buying in London and Surrey?

First-Time Buyers

Well, for first time buyers, they mean quite a lot. Stirling Ackroyd saw an 10% increase in visitors to its website within an hour of the announcement, with many heading to the first-time buyer mortgage section, showing just how much pent-up demand there is among young people looking for a home.

What Is Stamp Duty Land Tax?

Stamp Duty Land Tax is a tax you pay the Government when you buy a home or land above a certain cost-threshold in England and Northern Ireland. The new tax bands do not apply in Scotland or Wales, as those nations’ Governments set their own property transaction taxes.

The changes now mean no Stamp Duty is paid by first-time buyers on the first £425,000 of a purchase, where the property costs up to £625,000. That means you could save up to £11,250 on the transaction.

One thing to beware, though: The £425,000 first-time buyer threshold does not apply if the home you buy costs more than £625,000. If it is more, then you pay 5% (see table below).

Everyone Else

For people who are not first-time buyers, the level at which Stamp Duty is chargeable is now £250,001 – up from £125,001 – meaning those buying in lower price brackets can save up to £2,500.

Those buying homes worth between £250,001 and £925,000 pay the 5% rate (see chart below).

Because the average house price across London’s boroughs is £711,422, few buyers selling their own homes in London and Surrey will be affected by the changes.

Karl Le Brasse, at Stirling Ackroyd, said: “The former Chancellor talked a good game around Stamp Duty, and for first-time buyers, living in London and Surrey is now genuinely within reach. 

“London thrives on every new wave of young people coming to the city. With older generations leaving during Covid, that wave is now coming. We at Stirling Ackroyd are fully geared up to help young people move here.

“But for Londoners who are not first-time buyers – and those that want to come to London who aren’t first time buyers either – the changes mean little in the short term. 

“The Bank of England base rate is the highest it has been since 2008, and we predict it will increase further as the Monetary Policy Committee tries to tackle the worst inflation in 40 years.

“Mortgage rates impacting London and Surrey are the highest they have been for a decade, with the cost of a five-year fixed-rate mortgage almost triple what it was a year ago.

“What the Chancellor gave, the Bank of England will still take away via its affect on mortgage rates. But there is a silver lining: For first time buyers, the savings made on Stamp Duty will make finding deposits easier. First time buyers should be on the look out for bargains as price rises slow and perhaps even fall.”

The new Stamp Duty bands for buyers replacing their primary residence are as follows:

Property PriceStamp Duty
Up to £250,000 0%
The portion £250,001 to £925,0005%
The portion from £925,001 to £1.5 million10%
£1.5 million plus 12%

Stamp duty for second-home buyers and buy-to-let landlords are as follows:

The new rates apply to second-home buyers and buy-to-let landlords. These buyers still have to pay the 3% additional homes tax too. 

Property Price Stamp Duty & Levy
Up to £250,000 3%
The next £675,000 (price between £250,001 and £925,000) 8%
The next £575,000 (price between £925,001 and £1.5 million) 13%
The remaining amount (price to £1.5 million) 15%

Stamp duty for non-UK residents:

The amended rates apply to non-UK residents. They still pay the 2% non-UK resident surcharge as well.

 

Property PriceStamp Duty & Levy
Up to £250,000 2%
The next £675,000 (price between £250,001 and £925,000) 7%
The next £575,000 (price between £925,001 and £1.5 million)12%
The remaining amount (price to £1.5 million) 14%

More New Builds On The Horizon

One little mentioned aspect of the former chancellor’s mini-budget that contained the Stamp Duty cuts is the plan to create Investment Zones in 38 areas in England, with accelerated planning arrangements. This includes the Greater London Authority. 

Introducing the plan, he said: “To increase housing supply and enable forthcoming planning reforms, we will also increase the disposal of surplus government land to build new homes.” This Government-owned land will be “freed up” for new builds ahead of further reforms.

“The need for planning applications will be minimised, and where planning applications remain necessary, they will be radically streamlined.”

While this is a long-term play, “The real problem with the London property market is the shortage of supply,” says Stirling Ackroyd’s McCloud. “Any plans legislation that increases the quantity of new builds is welcome in London.”

To find out more about how Stamp Duty will affect your purchase, contact the experts at a Stirling Ackroyd branch in the areas you are looking at here.

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