Stamp Duty Land Tax rate changes
The announcement in the Autumn Statement of new rates of stamp duty land tax on residential property for transactions completing on or after 4 December caused quite a flurry of activity on transactions nearly ready to exchange where the value was over £1 million.
An SDLT saving could be achieved by exchange of contracts before 4 December, even if completion is to happen later. We had one transaction for a purchase of over £6 million where the SDLT saving, achieved by some speedy work to exchange on Wednesday, was over £250,000!
Many of our house builder clients aiming at the middle market (in terms of value) are pleased by the changes which will result in their buyers paying less SDLT. Developers of properties worth over £1 million were less pleased that their buyers would pay more SDLT (unless they had managed to exchange contracts by 3 December).
Lawyers are going to have to spend a little more time working out the amount of stamp duty land tax on acquisitions as it will not be as simple to calculate as before.