Gary Curtis, our sales manager in Canterbury, writes,
“The recent Budget announcements were shaped partly to accommodate the Government’s response to the coronavirus. We anticipate seeing more measures over the coming months as the Government refines its strategy for long term economic resilience and immediate support for individuals and vulnerable groups. For that reason, Rishi Sunak’s first budget can be seen as the first in a series of announcements.
Prior to 11 March, I added my voice to many in asking for much needed reforms to Stamp Duty, as outlined in previous Tory manifestos but omitted from the most recent. Lifting the threshold from £125,000 to £500,000 and lowering the top rate – which applies above £1.5m – from 12% to 7% - would have inspired empty nesters to downsize and release family homes on to the market.
There were positives for the commercial property market with small and medium sized businesses being offered 100% relief on their business rates this year for properties with a rateable value of up to £51,000. Businesses that are eligible for Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rate Relief, will receive a one-off grant of £3,000.
Overall, the budget was widely regarded as an ‘emergency budget’. Against a backdrop of the spring surge of activity, this may prove to be a missed opportunity to revitalise the property market with a more nuanced approach to stamp duty. We will have to wait to see for the Autumn Statement to see if stamp duty will get the reform it deserves - and that the Brexit returnees will need.
Gary Curtis is the Sales Manager in our Canterbury office. To discuss your property journey in buying, selling, letting or renting homes in Kent, please call 01227 454111.