Wales has followed England’s example and extended its stamp duty holiday to June, but without the tapered additional extension to the end of September announced by Rishi Sunak.
Its Minister for Finance Rebecca Evans (pictured, above) says the country’s stamp duty holiday zero rate will now be extended to property sales that complete up to 30th June.
But her Scottish counterpart Kate Forbes, the Finance Secretary for Scotland, has said she is not going to extend her country’s stamp duty holiday deadline. Last July she moved the zero-rated threshold from £145,000 to £250,000 which, she has said, means 80% of sales in Scotland are stamp duty exempt.
In Wales the stamp duty holiday applies to the first £250,000 of a property’s sale value, with the portion between £250,000 and £400,000 attracting a 5% duty, between £400,000 and £750,000 a 7.5% duty, between £750,000 and £1.5 million a 10% duty and 12% for anything over that.
The Welsh scheme isn’t that generous compared to England’s, which set a zero rate for all residential purchases under £500,000. In Wales properties up to £180,000 already attracted a zero rate so effectively, in July last year, Evans only raised the eligibility roof by £70,000.
Nevertheless, it is estimated that this measure has helped 10,000 buyers pay less stamp duty and had ‘a positive effect on the market’.
“However, it is important to continue to ensure that these temporary tax reductions remain targeted, and they will not apply to those buying property that is liable to the higher residential rates of LTT,” she says.
Evans, like Sunak, has also admitted that buyers need more time to complete as bottlenecks in the system have delayed many people’s progress through the conveyancing progress.
Propertymark’s Daryl McIntosh (pictured), comments: “The measures go some way towards easing any immediate conveyancing or lenders issues that buyers have been experiencing over the intervening period.
“The pandemic has shone a light on where and how people want to live and the next government in Wales should look to do an impact assessment on COVID and housing need.”