Government extends Help to Buy scheme

Government extends Help to Buy scheme

The Government has announced a small extension to the Help to Buy equity loan scheme to allow for delays caused by the coronavirus crisis. While the building deadline for new homes sold through the scheme will be extended by two months, from the end of December 2020 to the end of February 2021, the March 31 2021 deadline for sale completions remains. However, for buyers who have seen severe delays and reserved properties before June 30, the deadline to complete purchases has been pushed back to the end of May 2021. Developers had called urged ministers to extend the scheme by a year.

The Sunday Telegraph The Sunday Times

Stamp Duty Cut

Rishi Sunak has confirmed that the threshold for paying stamp duty will be raised from £125,000 to £500,000 immediately in a bid to help the UK housing market out of the coronavirus lockdown. The Chancellor said the stamp duty holiday, which will run to March 31 next year, will result in an average saving of £4,500 and will benefit nine in 10 house buyers. John Tonkiss, chief executive of housebuilder McCarthy and Stone, said the move is a “no brainer to reinvigorate the economy,” while according to Jonathan Evans, real estate director at Deloitte, based on the average price of a home in England, a purchaser can now expect to save almost £2,500 by not paying stamp duty. In addition, Evans notes, the average property in London (£485,000) will also be exempt and save £14,200. But Tim Stovold, head of tax at Moore Kingston Smith, said it was a blow for first-time buyers, who would find themselves “competing in a market full of landlords keen to cash in.”

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Stamp duty holiday could save average English buyer £7,000

Chancellor Rishi Sunak is expected to announce plans in his Summer Statement for a temporary stamp duty holiday that could save the average English buyer £6,915 and make 88% of English property transactions exempt from the tax, according to Savills. Mr Sunak is predicted to raise the threshold at which buyers start paying tax on their purchases from £125,000 to as much as £500,000. The new measures would mean practically no buyer in the North East would pay any stamp duty at all. The holiday would come into effect at the moment analysts are expecting the economic impact of coronavirus to hit the property market hard. Both mortgage holidays and the furlough scheme are due to end in the autumn, meaning there could be a spike in forced sellers, and a fall in the number of people able to purchase.

The Daily Telegraph