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How does Boris Johnson becoming PM impact the property market?

Patrick Christys
Jul 23, 2019


The United Kingdom officially has a new Prime Minister - Boris Johnson.

Well, to be precise, it's actually Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson. 

The prominent Tory, 55, beat Jeremy Hunt in the race to become the new Conservative Leader and take over from Theresa May.

But, if you're looking to move house, what would Boris' government mean for you, bearing in mind you're already in an uncertain market due to Brexit?

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Well, quite a lot, as it turns out. Boris is proposing pretty drastic changes to the current stamp duty system.

According to The Telegraph, Boris plans to dramatically raise the threshold for paying stamp duty from its current level of £125,000 to £500,000 at the same time as lowering the top rate from 12% to 7%.

But what does this actually mean for buyers and sellers?

According to analysis by Savills, Johnson’s plans would free more than 300,000 property buyers from stamp duty, based on 2018/19 figures. Added to the number of properties sold that are already exempt from the tax, this means that a total of 651,500 transactions from last year wouldn’t have paid stamp duty.

This is equal to 71& of residential transactions in England and Northern Ireland that would be exempt from stamp duty under the plans.

Savills has also estimated that raising the stamp duty threshold to £500,000 would cut out around a quarter of stamp duty revenue for the Treasury's coffers, at £2.158bn. 

It found that 41% of stamp duty revenues from 2017/18 came from properties under £500,000, equal to £3.8bn. This total amount excludes the additional 3pc surcharge on homes under £500,000 and first-time buyer relief.

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The 3% surcharge for landlords and additional home buyers was not mentioned in the report. But if that was dropped as well, just 10pc of properties bought last year would be liable for stamp duty.

It has also been mooted that Johnson wants to make stamp duty payable by the seller, rather than the buyer.

This is a radical move, one that would benefit growing families, those swapping their house for one that is more expensive. It could also help increase transactions and boost the market. 

Are you in favour of Boris' plans or not? Comment below.

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