The much-anticipated Spring Budget on 3 March 2021 saw welcome if not predictable measures being introduced designed to boost the struggling property sector whilst raising revenue for the exchequer in the long run.
Stamp duty land tax
The introduction of the stamp duty land tax (“SDLT”) holiday in England and Wales in July 2020 saw a flurry of activity in the residential property market. With tax savings of up to £15,000 for a limited period for those caught in the residential nil rate band, sellers rushed to market to meet increased demand before the holiday ended on 31 March 2021. Many were worried property prices would fall off a cliff edge on the 1 April with thousands of transactions failing to complete in time. The Law Society of England & Wales and others called for a review of the end of the temporary increase and the Chancellor listened.
The SDLT “holiday” has been extended from 31 March 2021 until 30 June 2021. Thereafter the nil rate band is tapered until the end of the scheme. The following rates apply for an extended (but limited time), good news for investors and first time buyers alike!
From 1 April 2021 until 30 June 2021 Property transactions up to £500,000 SDLT rate 0% (Potential tax saving of up to £15,000) From 1 July 2021 until 30 September 2021 Property transactions up to £250,000 SDLT rate 0% (Potential tax saving of up to £2,500)
Do bear in mind, should an investor be acquiring additional residential property the usual higher rates of SDLT will apply on top of the nil rate bands. From the 1 April 2021 overseas buyers of residential property in England & Wales will be subject to an additional surcharge of 2% levied on top of all other SDLT rates payable.
The above rates do not apply to commercial property.
For more information see here:
Mortgage guarantee scheme
Help was also forthcoming for those with small deposits looking to get on the housing ladder. Whilst the new scheme is largely aimed at first time buyers, it is open to anyone. The government will provide a mortgage guarantee to enable buyers satisfying the necessary criteria to secure a new mortgage up to £600,000 with as little as a 5% deposit. The scheme will run for applications from 1 April 2021 to December 2022. For more information see here:
What will the near future bring?
The outbreak of a world-wide pandemic saw many commentators in 2020 predicting doom and gloom for investors with decreases in property values and occupancy rates in the retail and office sectors going in the wrong direction. With virtually all non-essential businesses still closed, eligible retail hospitality and leisure properties welcomed the extension of business rates holiday until 30 June 2021. “This will be followed by 66% business rates relief for the period from 1 July 2021 to 31 March 2022, capped at £2 million per business for properties that were required to be closed on 5 January 2021, or £105,000 per business for other eligible properties” according to the Government website. For more information see here:
Would-be tenants looking for space will obviously benefit from the over-supply in some sectors of the commercial market. Contrast this to the residential property sector, where rising prices have been given a further nudge following the Budget announcements, which featured a distinct lack of any commentary on extending residential supply. Various estate agents have revised their predictions from as much as zero to 5 percent plus growth in values in 2021.
Whether the property market and the high street in particular will ever resemble anything close to its pre-Covid make-up we will have to wait and see. Things in the real estate market are looking up – at least until the next cliff edge.
If you have any questions and/or would like advice on any Commercial Property, please speak to Kuldip Matharoo at: email@example.com or to your usual Dixcart contact.