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‘Welsh Stamp Duty holiday pointless until occupied house viewings allowed’

Fine & Country agents say limited nature of duty exemption and restrictions on housing market activity mean duty change will have little effect on market.

Nigel Lewis

stamp duty

Welsh Fine & Country agents have given the nation’s recently-announced Stamp Duty holiday for home buyers a distinctly unenthusiastic thumbs-up, claiming it’s pointless until the Welsh government allows viewing of occupied properties following Covid.

It is expected that this will be announced later this week and be given the green light for the 27th July.

Last Tuesday Welsh finance minister Rebecca Evans (pictured, above) revealed that properties valued at between £180,000 and £250,000 are exempt from Stamp Duty (known locally as Land Transaction Tax) until 31st March next year.

Fine & Country argues that, because properties under £180,000 already pay zero Stamp Duty, the Welsh government has only raised the threshold by £70,000, but that unlike in England, it does not include second homes or buy-to-let properties.

Bonus not incentive

Jamie Tulloch from Fine & Country, Welshpool says: “While the change in Stamp Duty will definitely have some impact on the market, I see it as more of a bonus than an incentive.

“I don’t think the change to Stamp Duty will have as much of a difference here in Wales, as it would if you were buying in England.”

According to Tulloch, buyers being able to view occupied properties will have a greater impact on the market then the duty change.

Tom Hope from Fine & Country Swansea, says: “Whilst to a large extent, Fine & Country property buyers won’t financially benefit greatly, the main advantage is that the increase of Stamp Duty threshold being kept in place until March 2021 will perpetuate the number of property transactions during what is usually a quieter late Autumn through to early Spring.

“And this increased activity will follow the price range up to the ‘upper quartile’ and influence our main market – well at least that’s the plan!”.

Read more about Covid and Wales.

July 20, 2020

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