CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Hertfordshire Life today CLICK HERE

Home truths: Stamping out uncertainty

PUBLISHED: 09:32 10 February 2015 | UPDATED: 09:32 10 February 2015

The overhaul has been positive news for most buyers and sellers

The overhaul has been positive news for most buyers and sellers


Nicholas Walker, associate partner at Strutt and Parker in St Albans, takes the property market temperature after the Chancellor’s stamp duty reforms

How does the major reform of stamp duty taxes, announced and implemented by the Chancellor, George Osborne, in December, affect you? 
The new rates mean there is no tax on the first £125,000 of a property sale; two per cent on the amount above that to £250,000; five per cent on the next slice up to £925,000; 10 per cent on the next slice up to £1.5m; and 12 per cent on everything above that.

The new rate, paid as before by the buyer not the seller of a home, is more gradual, reflecting the new Scottish system, and it is predicted to benefit 98 per cent of buyers. Anyone buying a home for less than £937,500 will either pay less stamp duty or the same amount under the new rules, the Treasury said. The reform is predicted to cost the government around £730m in lost taxes.

Before the announcement, stamp duty was charged at one per cent on properties over £125,000, going up to seven per cent on properties over £2m. Mr Osborne describing this system as a ‘badly-designed tax on aspiration’, as a small rise in house price can lead to a large increase in tax.

This overhaul has been positive news for most buyers and sellers, who will save in some cases thousands of pounds. At the top end of the market above £1m, although buyers will be paying more, they should be relieved to know the new system removes the single thing the market hates most: uncertainty. In the long term, this is great news for the overall market and we advise sellers not to rush to change guide prices. This new clarity will stimulate the market from the bottom up and, as is ever the way, the market will find its own level.

The Office for Budget Responsibility expects the overhaul to trigger a small upward creep in property prices and sales of homes worth up to the £937,500 tipping point, and a small decrease in prices and activity above this level.

We are predicting a stable year with housing activity set to increase after the general election as more solidity arrives on the political and economic landscape, which in turn should allow confidence to grow. Strutt and Parker and its retained economic adviser Volterra are predicting a modest but steady five per cent UK house price growth in 2015.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hertfordshire visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hertfordshire staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hertfordshire account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Homes & Gardens

A young family moved from an outgrown flat in London to an Edwardian cottage in Bushey, lovingly bringing it back to life with vintage finds and sympathetic updates

Read more
December 2018
Tuesday, November 20, 2018

The property is in the village of Benington near Stevenage

Read more
November 2018
Tuesday, November 20, 2018

A ready-to-move-in house is the last thing this Bishop’s Stortford couple want. Serial renovators, they’ve had the vision to take on three tired homes, including this latest project, and make them into something remarkable

Read more
November 2018
Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Listed for its architectural and historical importance, this mansion is for sale through Strutt and Parker

Read more
November 2018
Monday, October 8, 2018

A 16th century farmhouse gave a father and daughter the chance to both fulfil childhood dreams

Read more
October 2018
Wednesday, September 26, 2018

As we head into Autumn, the change in season is all around us. From the leaves on the trees turning burnt orange and fiery red, to dark mornings and nights bookending our days. As we put the clocks back an hour to battle the darkness, here’s some top tips on how you can keep your home warm and costs down this Autumn.

Read more
Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Nine bedroom Georgian country house for sale

Read more
September 2018
Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Ten years in the making, this remarkable home in the former orchard of St Albans Cathedral is as bespoke as a property can be. It had Grand Designs’ Kevin McCloud reeling

Read more
September 2018
Friday, August 31, 2018

Rural energy provider, Calor, gives some top tips for homeowners wanting to make their houses cosy and warm in time for the colder months.

Read more
Tuesday, August 7, 2018

How to tackle one of the most invasive plant species in the UK has resulted in innovative solutions, writes Charlotte Hussey of Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust

Read more
August 2018

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Local Business Directory

Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search