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Relief and encouragement for home owners on the move

House buyers and vendors can breathe a happy sigh of relief as the chancellor extended stamp duty relief. It is a move welcomed by one of Shropshire’s leading estate agents, Balfours. Head of sales, Alistair Hilton, says that those who currently have their home on the market can progress without the need to realign the sale price.

He explains:  “The staggered relief, with a main residence cost up to £500,000 sold before June 30 attracting full relief of £15,000. After this date the starting rate of stamp duty will be £250,000 until the end of September – at which point it will return to the post covid level of £125,000. This will keep the market simmering and allow people to plan, without a cliff edge where vendors or buyers can’t proceed because it blows their budget.”

“The duty holiday has been an essential tool during the pandemic and without doubt both stay home and the tax break has focused home owners’ minds on moving house, while they could save a stamp duty bill of up to £15,000. While the best savings have been achieved in the £400,000 to £600,000 price bracket, at Balfours we have also seen a significant effect in houses marketed and sales agreed between £750,000 and £1.5 million.”

Alistair continues: “As a result, since January we have had our busiest year on record. We have been back to back on exchanges and completions, while ensuring strict covid guidelines are adhered to – no easy feat with members of the team in two bubbles and one set always working from home. The chancellor’s tapering of stamp duty will also ease the significant pressure on conveyancing solicitors.”

He says that looking ahead there are still buyers searching for their ideal home, plus a real bottom in the market with the treasury offering first time buyers a mortgage guarantee to  help with a five percent deposit.

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