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When does the stamp duty holiday in England and Northern Ireland end?

·3-min read
Estate agent's window in York
Estate agent's window in York

People buying homes in England and Northern Ireland haven't paid tax on the first £500,000 since last July.

But stamp duty will soon be reintroduced on many sales.

What is the stamp duty holiday?

Stamp duty is a tax paid on property purchases.

The level at which it starts having to be paid was raised from £125,000 to £500,000 in July 2020.

The move was aimed at helping buyers whose finances were affected by Covid and boosting a property market hit by lockdown.

It has meant a saving of up to £15,000 for people buying homes.

Landlords and second-home buyers can also make use of the tax cut. But they still have to pay the extra 3% of stamp duty they were charged under the previous rules.

Table of stamp duty rates
Table of stamp duty rates

When does the stamp duty holiday end?

The tax break comes to an end on 30 June.

After this date, until the end of September, there is a staggered return to previous stamp duty rates.

It means you won't pay any stamp duty on the first £250,000 of the purchase price.

From 1 October 2021, rates are due to return to normal:

  • £0-£125,000 = 0%

  • £125,001-£250,000 = 2%

  • £250,001-£925,000 = 5%

  • £925,000-£1,500,000 = 10%

  • £1,500,000+ = 12%

Use the government's Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) calculator to find out how much you would pay.

Is the stamp duty holiday pushing up house prices?

UK house prices rose 7.1% over the past year - says the Nationwide building society - taking the average property price to £238,381.

The stamp duty holiday has affected the timing of property sales, it says. And some first-time buyers are better placed to afford a home after saving money during lockdown.

What other help is there for first-time buyers?

From July, first-time buyers will not pay any stamp duty on property purchases up to £300,000.

High Street lenders are also starting to offer mortgages to borrowers with a deposit of just 5%, under a new government guarantee scheme.

The policy is designed to help more first-time buyers secure a home.

The new scheme will be available to anyone buying a home costing up to £600,000, unless they are buy-to-let, second homes or, in some cases, new-builds.

How much money does stamp duty raise?

The government's annual take from stamp duty is about £12bn, according to latest HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) figures.

That's roughly equivalent to 2% of the tax the Treasury collects.

What about Scotland and Wales?

In Scotland, the normal rates on Land and Buildings Transaction Tax are:

  • 0% on £0-£145,000

  • 2% on £145,001-£250,000

  • 5% on £250,001-£325,000

  • 10% on £325,001-£750,000

  • 12% on any value above £750,000

Scottish landlords pay an extra 4% Land and Buildings Transaction Tax on top of standard rates.

Sheffield cityscape
Sheffield cityscape

In Wales, the normal rates on Land Transaction Tax are:

  • 0% on £0-£180,000

  • 3.5% on £180,001-£250,000

  • 5% on £250,001-£400,000

  • 7.5% on £400,001-£750,000

  • 10% on £750,001-£1.5m

  • 12% on any value above £1.5m

However, the Welsh government also introduced temporary tax relief on some sales.

It means that, until the end of June, people buying their main homes in Wales costing less than £250,000 will not pay any tax.

Welsh landlords pay an extra 4% Land Transaction Tax on top of standard rates.