BREAKING PROPERTY NEWS – 05/10/2021
Daily bite-sized proptech and real estate news in partnership with Proptech-X. Today, Stanton looks at the Standard Duty Land Tax and Propertymark.
STANDARD DUTY LAND TAX – WILL IT ACT AS A BRAKE ON THE HOUSING MARKET?
There has been a lot of recent debate about stamp duty or SDLT, which stands for Stamp Duty Land Tax, levied by HMRC on land and property purchases.
With the Chancellor of the exchequer freezing the normal banding of the SDLT for property or land transactions completing at £500,000 or less, it has been estimated that close to a million buyers may have in some way gained from paying no or less SDLT.
In case anyone does not know what, the rates are in England as of the 1st of October 2021, they returned to normal.
Normal being, Zero tax up to £125,000, 2% tax on the next £125,000 – the band of £125,001 to £250,000, 5% tax on the next £675,000 – the band £250,001 to £925,000, 10% tax on the next £575,000 – the band £925,001 to £1.5M, 12% on anything above this.
If you are a first-time buyer in England, there is Zero SDLT on purchases up to £300,000. But you pay 5% on the band £300,001 to £500,000, however if the purchase is over £500,000 there is no relief and first-time buyers have to pay SDLT the same as a normal buyer.
If you are an investment buyer, a person buying a second home, or several homes, the SDLT payable is the same as the ‘Normal’ rate quoted above, plus 3%. So instead of being Zero tax up to £125,000, 3% is applicable, and 8% not 5% up to £500,000, and 13% not 10% up to £1.5M, and 15% not 12% on anything above this.
If you are a buyer from outside of the UK, buying in England as an investment you have to add another 2% in all the categories that a normal investment buyer pays, so you will be paying 5%, 7%, 10%, 15% and 17% depending on the purchase price.
Why all of this matters is that depending on where you live, and the value of your home, SDLT can be a real factor. For example in Middlesbrough the average house price is £167,000, in London is £695K. So at £167,000 a first-time buyer is paying no stamp duty, and a normal buyer is only paying £840. At £695,000 a first time-buyer gets no relief and will pay the same as a normal buyer, £24,750.
If you look closer, the recent higher taxation for non-domicile buyers who look to buy Prime property in say London at £5M will now pay £613,750, so will that dampen the actual sale prices being achieved. Though of course we can always rely on some to game any taxation system, such as an ex-prime minister and his barrister wife who recently were shown to have swerved a £312,000 SDLT bill.
All forms of property and land taxation are ‘unfair’ at the margins, there will always be winners and losers. Removing some of them altogether as the Chancellor did, with a known end date was always going to cause a stampede. With possible austerity now coming into view, fuelled by inflation and increased taxation, will the full return of SDLT in all its forms pour water on the over heated housing market.
PROPERTYMARK PUTS ITS FULL WEIGHT BEHIND THE ENDANGERED PRS LANDLORD
Propertymark has broken ranks and rigidly stated that it backs the plight of landlords in the private residential sector, who are being taxed and regulated out of existence. But most immediately are taking the brunt of the rent arrears caused by the pandemic.
Mark Hayward policy adviser for the organisation commented that, ‘The PRS supports five-million households in the UK and is an important provider of homes against a backdrop of an overwhelmed social housing system … at the moment, the risks associated with being a landlord are incredibly high and the financial help for tenants and landlords struggling under the weight of accumulated Covid-related debt is inadequate.’
Though there are no verified figures it is though that over 500,000 plus tenancies are in arrears at present, which could scale up to over 750,000 by the end of the year.
Propertymark is lobbying the government to think carefully about a mechanism such as a loan scheme to stop a mass exodus of private landlords, many of whom only own one investment property and utilise it as a way of generating income or as part of a pension strategy.
If there is a sudden move by landlords to divest themselves of rental properties which then pass into the general housing stock, this will bring even greater pressure on the government who are already behind in the social housing programme.
If you have a view – please let us all know by emailing me at [email protected] – Andrew Stanton Executive Editor – moving property and proptech forward.