Should I delay buying property to take advantage of potential changes to the SDLT regime?

When he hasn’t been busy stirring the Brexit pot Boris Johnson has managed to find time in recent weeks to get the residential property market aflutter with his suggestions for overhauling the SDLT system.

Not being one for small measures, Mr Johnson has suggested switching liability for SLDT from buyers to sellers which really would be a complete overhaul of the current regime. Of course this raises far more questions than it answers as there are so many different facets of the current system of exemptions and reliefs that would simply be swept away. What might replace them? We simply have no idea.

Whilst I would be the first to accept that the current rules are complex, confusing and no doubt at times unfair, with the current absence of detail on any of Mr Johnson’s plans it is impossible to say what the potential impact might be. Unfortunately in announcing a barely formulated plan to change the system he has introduced yet more uncertainly and concern to a market which is already under immense strain.

We are receiving near daily requests from clients to advise on whether they should be delaying selling or buying a property until after the changes come into effect. This really is the million dollar question when at present we don’t even know if the system is being changed, let alone how and when.

Here’s hoping for a little clarity very soon.

Within days of Boris Johnson becoming the new Prime Minister, it was announced that an overhaul of stamp duty was being planned.

It has been reported that the shake-up could come as soon as September when the new Chancellor is expected to hold an early emergency Budget.

Mr Johnson has told MPs that an overhaul of stamp duty is needed to help first-time buyers get on the ladder and to give the London property market renewed energy.

One proposal being looked at would raise the property value at which stamp duty is charged from £125,000 to £500,000. 

Another more radical measure is to switch the liability for paying the levy from the buyer to the seller.