Chancellor George Osborne’s revelation that he had found an extra £27bn of wriggle room for his Autumn Statement on Wednesday was good news for working families fearing a cut to Tax Credits and of modest benefit to state pensioners who will see a weekly rise of £3.35.
However, there was a sting in the tail for buy-to-let investors seeking to purchase property in England and Wales.
From 1 April 2016, higher rates of Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) will be charged on purchases of “additional” residential properties (above £40,000), such as buy-to-let properties and second homes.
The higher rates will be 3 percentage points above the current SDLT rates, meaning a property purchase of £300,000 would face a top levy of 8 instead of 5%.
The rules will not apply in Scotland, however, further emphasising the disparity between the two markets.
The current rates came into force last April.
Update (16/12/2015): Scotland’s Finance Secretary John Swinney has announced that property investors north of the border will also be subject to the extra 3%.
Delivering his budget, Mr Swinney said the supplement would be added to the purchase price of the property, on top of the existing Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT).