After a temporary stamp duty cut for England and Northern Ireland was announced on July 8, buyers have been busy looking at great properties and releasing some of the pent-up frustration caused by the coronavirus lockdown.
In London, the number of properties on the market in July was up 44% on the previous year, while the UK as a whole saw the highest number of sales agreed in a month for more than 10 years, according to Rightmove’s monthly House Price Index.
All of which means now is a great time to get moving if you’re thinking of doing so, with buyers paying no stamp duty on the first £500,000 of a property’s purchase price.
Here, we’ll outline the new stamp duty threshold and reveal five great properties on the market right now for under that magic £500,000, zero stamp duty mark.
The temporary stamp duty threshold
The rules on stamp duty relief were changed by Chancellor Rishi Sunak in July in a bid to kick-start the housing markets in England and Northern Ireland after the Covid-19 lockdown.
So, until March 31, 2021, buyers will pay no stamp duty on the first £500,000 of a property’s purchase price.
Previously, buyers were exempt from stamp duty on the first £125,000, while first-time buyer stamp duty relief was set at £300,000.
In Scotland, the threshold for Land & Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) has also been changed, meaning buyers north of the border pay no tax on the first £250,000 – up from £145,000 under the previous rules.
In Wales, meanwhile, the threshold for Land Transaction Tax (LTT) has risen to £250,000 for residential property purchases, with higher rates for those buying additional properties.
Landlords and buyers of second homes, meanwhile, still have to pay a stamp duty surcharge, but will also benefit from the new, higher thresholds.
Stamp duty limits
Check out our updated guide on the new stamp duty limits in England and Northern Ireland.
Buyers in Scotland should take a look at this piece, which explains how LBTT will work until March 31, 2021.
Stamp duty ‘free’ properties
Here are five amazing properties available for under £500,000 – meaning you’ll pay no stamp duty (unless you’re buying a second property).
London property prices are among the highest anywhere, so getting on the ladder in the capital can be tough.
But this stunning one-bedroom apartment in Battersea is a great example of what’s available for under the £500,000 stamp duty threshold.
On the market for £485,000, the property is located in the Battersea Reach development in SW18, meaning underground parking, river views and a gym and 24-hour concierge.
Village life and rural tranquillity don’t come much better than in the South West.
Located right between two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty in Cranborne Chase and the Cotswolds, Westbury Leigh is full of character.
If you’re looking for a newly-renovated, move-straight-in property in a stunning location, this four-bedroom detached house could be a great option.
Close to local amenities, schools and rail links to London from Westbury (in one hour, 26 minutes), the property is ideally positioned for a family.
South West of Coventry city centre, on the outskirts of Westwood Heath, this three-bedroom detached house is finished to an incredibly high standard.
Modern and spacious, it’s also in the perfect location close to the Midlands motorway network for an easy commute to either Birmingham, Leicester or Coventry.
The open-plan kitchen ground floor is perfect for modern, family living, while the rear garden offers plenty of enclosed outdoor space.
With an asking price of £400,000, it’s well below the new £500,000 stamp duty threshold.
York has long been a popular destination for buyers seeking rural living on top of access to the large cities of the north.
Steeped in Roman history, York also offers some great properties for less than £500,000 – like this one in the village of Wilberfoss to the east of York.
Modern, light, airy and with five bedrooms, it’s the perfect, rural family home with easy access to Hull, Leeds and York itself.
With an asking price of offers over £400,000, the property is great value for a family buyer.
Chelmsford in Essex offers buyers needing easy access to London plenty of great options when it comes to property.
Just 30 minutes to the capital by rail, Chelmsford is a great option for families needing that perfect combination of good commuter links and great schools.
This superb, modernised three-bedroom detached house in Great Baddow has a lovely, enclosed rear garden to add to three great sized bedrooms and a modern, open-plan family living area.
On the market for offers over £475,000, this property could well come in under the new stamp duty threshold of £500,000.