Middle market to benefit most from the change in stamp duty calculations

Middle market to benefit most from the change in stamp duty calculations

The way that stamp duty is calculated for buyers was changed in early December of last year, and when it was announced, there was widespread positivity towards the move, with many saying it would make it cheaper for the majority to buy. 

And now, almost two months on, it has been predicted that the most likely area of the British property market to benefit from the changes will be the middle market, with home movers likely to see more positive outcomes than most from the reform.

When George Osborne revealed the change to stamp duty calculations, he said that it sees the tax worked out in the same way as income tax, where different portions of a home's value is taxed at varying levels. This replaces a system where the whole value of a home was taxed a single percentage. 

And now the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) has said that in the last two months, it has been the middle market that has reacted best to this, with the volume of homes sold in the £250,000 to £925,000 bracket having seen the biggest rise.

The changes also brought more buyers to the market, and NAEA reports show that in December, there were more people looking to buy on the books of member agents than at any other time in the past ten years. 

It said that in a month that is typically among the very quietest of the year for house purchasing, the government's alterations to pricing of stamp duty had made a big difference in encouraging people to move up the property ladder. 

"Reforms to stamp duty was one change that NAEA members predicted would influence the market this year, and from our latest housing market survey it seems that we are starting to see the initial impact of these changes," said Mark Hayward, NAEA managing director. 

"December is typically a quieter month for the property market however it would seem prospective home buyers have been left feeling encouraged, while agents have also reported activity in the middle price mark picking up. The changes are obviously in the beginning stages of giving the market the boost it needs, making buying more affordable for many."