The Welsh Government has announced new Stamp Duty tax rates for homebuyers in the country.
Although the changes mean that nine out of ten homebuyers will pay the same or less than they do at present, some will end up paying thousands more than they would in England.
The biggest change is that those buying homes worth over £400,000 in Wales will pay more than their counterparts in England.
For example, someone purchasing a £500,000 property in Wales will pay £17,500 under the new tax rates, compared with £15,000 in England.
On a £600,000 home, the bill in Wales will be £25,000, compared to £20,000 in England. And, on a £750,000 home, the tax rate in Wales will be £36,250, compared with £27,500 in England.
It’s for homes worth over £750,000 that the new tax rates will really start to hit, as the Stamp Duty owed will climb to 10%. Properties worth above £1.5m will be subject to a new rate of 12%.
However, buyers of homes worth less than £250,000 will pay up to £500 less in Stamp Duty under the new rates, while those buying properties up to £150,000 will escape the tax altogether.
In Wales, Land Transaction Tax will replace Stamp Duty from 1st April 2018. It is the first Welsh-only tax in almost 800 years.
The Chief Executive of NAEA Propertymark (the National Association of Estate Agents), Mark Hayward, says: “This is a welcome move for the Welsh housing market, and we’re pleased the Welsh Government has listened to our proposals to raise the band for this lower rate. The rate up to which buyers won’t have to pay any Stamp Duty will be £150,000 from 2018 – the same value as the average house price in Wales.
“This means a huge number of house buyers will no longer have to pay any Stamp Duty at all. However, the move creates further bands for properties in excess of £250,000, and those properties will now attract a higher rate of Stamp Duty Land Tax than they would have previously.”
Changes to Stamp Duty in England and Wales, introduced by the former Chancellor George Osborne, who abolished the slab structure, have had mixed results, and led to criticism that prior hikes in the purchases of expensive properties have severely slowed and damaged the London market.
While purchasers of cheaper properties were intended to pay less, escalating house prices have, in practice, meant larger bills for some homebuyers.
Below, we will compare the current Stamp Duty tax rates to those that will be introduced in Wales from next year:
- Up to £125,000: No tax
- Between £125,000-£250,000: 2%
- Between £250,000-£925,000: 5%
- Between £925,000-£1.5m: 10%
- Above £1.5m: 12%
- Up to £150,000: No tax
- Between £150,000-£250,000: 2.5%
- Between £250,000-£400,000: 5%
- Between £400,000-£750,000: 7.5%
- Between £750,000-£1.5m: 10%
- Above £1.5m: 12%
Landlords must remember the Stamp Duty surcharge that was introduced in April 2016, which means that those buying additional properties are subject to an additional 3% Stamp Duty rate.