And we’re off!
Our first question concerns both Help to Buy and the stamp duty holiday.
Sarrah Waite: My husband and I are first time buyers using the government Help to Buy equity loan and hoping to exchange on a £395k new build in June or July. If our house isn’t built in time for the cut off in June will there be a consideration for that?
Here’s what the Telegraph’s property editor, Isabelle Fraser, has to say:
By using both the stamp duty holiday and the Help to Buy Equity loan you are teetering on the brink of two deadlines. When it comes to stamp duty, as long as you complete (not just exchange contracts) by the end of the holiday you will benefit from the tax break – be it March 31, or as is expected to be announced at the Budget, the end of June.
The Help to Buy side of things is more complicated. In April, the system changes, with a series of regional price caps added which may restrict your purchase. If the house isn’t built in time for the mooted extension of the stamp duty holiday then I would say that it is unlikely there will be any consideration. Your developer may offer to pay some of the stamp duty, or you could try to renegotiate.
As you’re first-time buyers, however, you will still benefit from a tax cut even when the holiday is over. First timers pay no stamp duty up to £300,000 and a rate of 5pc up to £500,000. As your property is under the threshold, you will have a lower bill than those who have already owned a property – at £4,750 compared to £9,750 if you weren’t a first-time buyer.