22nd November 2017
SDLT for first time residential buyers
We expect that a first-time buyer will be anyone purchasing a property who has never owned or part-owned another property which was used partly or wholly for residential purposes. This includes freehold property, or leasehold property of at least 21 years. Ownership could be by way of purchase, inheritance or having an interest in a trust.
We presume that this exemption will apply for transactions the effective date of which is today even if it is not completed until subsequently but that also remains to be confirmed.
A significant portion of the Chancellor’s speech related to the Government’s proposals for increased investment in residential development, with housing supply clearly a top priority. The proposals sound encouraging for our residential development clients, but these additional funds are likely to be heavily invested into the affordable housing market for lower income families and first time buyers.
Given the proposal for substantial investment in residential development, it follows that the Government is set to encourage Local Authorities to increase the number of approved planning applications, particularly those in respect of affordable properties. This will be encouraging to our clients intending to carry out or invest in affordable residential development in the next year and beyond. However this may be an unwelcome development for some clients as in future fewer applications may be granted for high value residential or commercial property where the same land may be developed for affordable housing.
The proposed legislation relating to empty residential properties could mean increased Council Tax rates for owners of such vacant properties. Although the proposed legislation is only likely to give Local Authorities the option of imposing premium Council Tax rates on vacant properties, it is a step that many LA’s may take, especially those with a demand for additional residential property to meet housing needs in the local area.
This will be a welcome development to our clients occupying commercial property. Business rates were set to increase next year in line with September’s RPI of 3.9%, but will now be increased in line with CPI’s 3%.
The contents of this update are intended as guidance for readers. It can be no substitute for specific advice. Consequently we cannot accept responsibility for this information, errors or matters affected by subsequent changes in the law, or the content of any website referred to in this update. © Mundays LLP 2017.
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