The Effects of the Recent Stamp Duty Changes on the Housing Market - Your Conveyancing Questions Answered by the Experts!

Welcome to our first blog! Convey Law is one of the largest specialist providers of Legal Conveyancing Services in the UK.  We have agreed with EAT to use this blog not only to promote Convey Law, and the great service that we provide, but to also help readers with any conveyancing questions or problems that they may have.

I am the Sales Manager at Convey Law, although I was previously a conveyancer, prior to taking up my new role, and I am an avid supporter for improvement within the property industry.

Please feel free to email me with any conveyancing related questions that you would like answered. We are specialists at what we do and so can answer most queries relating to conveyancing.

I will be using this blog to provide information in relation to relevant topical conveyancing issues and to hopefully provide an insight into how conveyancing can actually help Estate Agents in this difficult market.

The first topic I’ve been asked to discuss briefly is the effect that the recent Stamp Duty changes will have on the housing market.

The Stamp Duty Land Tax First Time Buyer Relief came to an end on the 23rd March 2012.  We saw a mad rush with our first time buyer clients attempting to complete their property transactions at the last minute in order to avoid Stamp Duty being paid on properties valued over £250,000.00.  This false deadline will inevitably skew Land Registry data in relation to the number of transactions completed and the health of the housing market. 

In my view the government have been naive in taking away this Stamp Duty relief for first time buyers at this moment in time.  The property market needs to be buoyant in the event that the economy is to be reinvigorated.  A good economy relies on a strong housing industry, which in itself relies on first time buyers to commence the house buying process.

The recent budget has brought in measures to clamp down on Stamp Duty land tax evasion.  Those individuals looking to purchase properties via off shore companies or to place them in trust in order to avoid Stamp Duty are likely to get their fingers burnt in the future. 

The new 7% tax on properties over £2million will inevitably have implications in relation to foreign investment coming in to the country.  London and the big cities are most likely to be affected by these changes.  Anyone looking to purchase a property over £2million via a company will now face a Stamp Duty land tax of 15% which will ultimately take away this tax evasion loophole, which was available on a resale via a limited company. 

Overall, the recent changes made by the government in relation to Stamp Duty will only act to hinder the recovery of the housing market.  There is some light at the end of the tunnel however, with government guarantees for first time buyers in relation to 95% mortgages – watch this space!

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