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Stamp duty holiday – a welcome boost for London property buyers and sellers

Earlier this month, as part of a mini summer Budget, the Chancellor announced a stamp duty holiday for all property sales in England and Northern Ireland.

The new measure aims to provide a boost to the property market and help home movers as we continue to recover from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Since the housing market reopened for business in May, the signs have been promising with lots of new movers entering the market while those delayed by lockdown have picked up where they left off.

The stamp duty holiday will save buyers thousands of pounds over the coming months, something which will also benefit property sellers thanks to increased demand for homes.

With this in mind, here is an overview of what was announced and how it could benefit home movers based in Dagenham, Barking and across East London.

What was announced and how does it work?

After lots of speculation, on July 8 the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, announced a stamp duty holiday on the first £500,000 of all property sales.

The tax cut will last until March 31 2021, with the stamp duty threshold increased from £125,000 to £500,000 immediately after the announcement was made.

It is estimated that around 90% of main properties purchased while the stamp duty holiday is in place will be exempt from stamp duty. Rightmove backs up this theory, suggesting that 84% of buyer enquiries are for properties priced below £500,000, while 81% of available homes have asking prices below the new stamp duty threshold.

The savings for buyers in East London are likely to be considerable. According to Rightmove, the average asking price in the capital is just over £625,000. This means that the typical London buyer will save around £15,000 over the next 10 months.

Buyers looking at lower priced homes will also benefit from huge savings. For example, buyers of properties worth £400,000 will save £10,000 in stamp duty, while those picking up homes for £300,000 and £250,000 will save £5,000 and £2,500 respectively.

Will first-time buyers and property investors benefit?

Since 2017, first-time buyers have had access to a stamp duty holiday on the first £300,000 of their property purchase. What this latest measure does is benefit first-timers who are looking to purchase more expensive properties, many of whom are likely to be based in London and the surrounding areas.

Most first-time buyers will now pay no stamp duty at all, providing them with some extra cash which could be very handy during what can be an expensive process. First-timers could use the stamp duty saving to put in an offer on a slightly more expensive property, or even put it towards renovating their new home.

For the past few years, property investors purchasing second homes have been required to pay an additional 3% stamp duty surcharge. This remains in place, but second home buyers will benefit from the stamp duty holiday as they will now only be required to pay the 3% surcharge.

For example, an investor buying a home for £350,000 will now pay £10,500 in stamp duty instead of £18,000 before the stamp duty cut was introduced.

Is now a good time to sell your East London home?

The answer to this question is an emphatic yes! If you sell your property now, you will benefit from the significant savings on offer when you purchase your next home.

What's more, the stamp duty news will encourage many more prospective buyers to enter the market. For example, Rightmove reported that in the first 30 minutes after the stamp duty holiday was announced, traffic on its site surged by 22%.

The property portal also reported that the number of potential purchasers contacting agents about property for sale on the day of the announcement hit a new record and marked a 93% increase compared to the same day last year.

Increased demand for homes means that a seller's chances of securing a fast transaction for the best possible price are vastly increased. If lots of buyers are interested in your property, you will have more viewings and there is a chance a bidding war could be sparked.

If you are thinking about coming to market, it's advised that you do so as quickly as possible. More sellers looking to take advantage of increased demand will enter the market over the coming months so competition will rise.

When selling a property, it's important that you work with a reputable agency such asIdeal Locations and make sure that your property is in tip-top condition to woo prospective buyers during viewings.

Our expert team are on hand to guide you through every step of the moving process -you can get in touch with us here. If you want to know how much your property could be worth,we provide free and instant online valuations.