Thank you to those who have contacted me about Stamp Duty Land Tax.
I welcome the temporary cut to Stamp Duty Land Tax for home buyers across England and Northern Ireland until the end of the financial year.
The Temporary Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) cut will temporarily increase the Nil Rate Band of Residential SDLT, in England and Northern Ireland, from £125,000 to £500,000. This applies from 8 July 2020 until 31 March 2021 and cut the tax due for everyone who would have paid SDLT. According to the Treasury’s Plan for Jobs, nearly nine out of ten people getting on or moving up the property ladder will pay no SDLT at all as a result of this change.
I welcome this measure as a crucial intervention to ensure medium-term confidence in the property market and maintain the growing momentum since the easing of lockdown.
I am confident that this action to support the housing market is protecting and creating jobs. In England and Wales, an estimated 240,000 people are directly employed by housebuilders and their contractors, and between 500,000 and 700,000 employees are indirectly supported in the supply chain. Moving to a new house also boosts the economy, with estimates suggesting that doing so drives additional spending worth about 5 per cent of the house value.
There is strong evidence to suggest that the temporary cut to SDLT is having the desired effect, with a 14.5 per cent rise in residential property transactions in July, followed by a 15.6 per cent rise in August. This is in addition to the 30 per cent increase in construction activity in July.
Although I understand that the success of the SDLT holiday has led some to call for its extension, I do not believe it will be possible to extend it further beyond this financial year.