Stamp Duty change -25th March 2010

Stamp Duty change -25th March 2010

Stamp Duty threshold changes for first time buyers are effective for completions today.   First time buyers will have the threshold for stamp duty raised to £250,000 but it remains a little unclear how a first time buyer will prove the requirement that they have never owned a property solely or jointly anywhere in the world previously.
Purchasers of properties over £1M will have their stamp duty rate raised to 5% though it appears that there is a later date for the implementation of this change.
At least one conveyancer was running around yesterday trying to get to grips with the changes in readiness for completions today.
Some commentators have noted that in very few parts of the country first time buyer properties regularly exceed £125,000 and that the real impact is likely to be limited particularly in the North.
The CML cautiously welcomed the changes but felt that the burden of the complexity of the rules may dilute the benefit.  However it did indicate that potentially 136,000 borrowers would benefit from the measure.
The Financial Times reported that homebuilder shares rose on the news with Barratts indicating that this measure would have a positive effect on about 10% of its purchasers.
Conveyancers will no doubt wonder how much additional red tape will be placed on them to enable their clients to benefit from this relief.

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