Changes to stamp duty threshold

Nick Leeming, Chairman of Jackson-Stops, comments on the announcement that the threshold before stamp duty is paid has been raised to £250,000 for buyers and £425,000 for first-time buyers in today’s Budget:

“There was nothing mini about the Chancellor's Budget this morning, which sends a clear message for the UK to pursue economic growth. History proves just how impactful a market wide cut to stamp duty can be. The rush to complete in June 2021 created fierce competition amongst buyers, and sellers reaped the rewards as house prices reached record highs. Today’s move will gently stimulate the lower end of the market, which in turn will create positive ripples up and down the many chains currently in motion.

“The consequences of stamp duty reform, however, will need to be addressed by the government too. Any spikes in transaction activity can create market bubbles, and most frustratingly for many purchasers, this can in turn create a backlog of completions. Transactions are already taking much longer than before. The risk of not addressing this in the coming weeks as the results of further market stimulation take effect, could see delays increase.

“At present, across our national network of offices, current pricing levels continue to tempt homeowners onto the market, with transaction levels up by 7.6% year on year, according to the latest HMRC data. Demand and supply levels also remain buoyant, with Jackson-Stops’ own data showing a 27% uptick in new instructions in August. We are seeing more ‘forever’ homes being bought earlier on in a buyer’s lifecycle due to the increased costs of moving, with muted stamp duty fees likely to increase market fluidity. It remains to be said however, that for many, quality of life remains the leading driver for moving home.”