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How does the staggered stamp duty extension impact London’s domestic and foreign buyers?

Research by lettings and estate agent, Benham and Reeves, has highlighted the varied levels of stamp duty payable by both domestic and foreign buyers across the capital.

With the stamp duty holiday still in full swing, those completing on a transaction within the capital are still due to save a considerable sum, regardless of whether they are UK nationals or purchasing their first property or a secondary home.

UK First and Second homebuyers

Currently, the average domestic homebuyer completing before 1st July of this year is due to pay just £5,015 in stamp duty when buying across inner London (£600,310).

The average outer London house price currently sits at £450,618, meaning homebuyers purchasing across the capital’s peripheral boroughs are still due to pay nothing in SDLT tax, should they complete in the next two and a half months.

On purchasing a second property, the SDLT owed does increase but there is still a saving to be made. For the average homebuyer purchasing a second home in inner London, the tax payable is currently £23,025 on the average property price of £600,310, falling to £13,519 owed across outer London.

In both instances, a current purchase in inner London would see both first and second home buyers save the maximum SDLT holiday saving of £15,000, while those in outer London would pocket a saving of £12,531.

Come July, this saving will be largely removed, with SDLT owed on a primary purchase sitting at £17,515 in inner London and £10,031 across outer London. While for second home buyers, SDLT owed on the average inner London property will increase to £35,525 and £23,549 across outer London.

When the holiday finally does finish at the end of September, the stamp duty tax for both primary and secondary homebuyers across all areas of the capital will increase by a further £2,500.

Non-UK Buyers

The recent introduction of a two per cent stamp duty surcharge for foreign buyers means that the stamp duty currently owed on any purchase is higher than domestic buyers, despite a saving still being made via the SDLT holiday.

A primary purchase would see foreign buyers currently pay £17,022 across inner London falling to £9,012 across outer London. On a second home, this climbs to £35,031 across inner London and £22,531 for homes in outer London.

Despite this higher cost, the current London market presents a great opportunity for foreign buyers at present. Like the domestic market, the average stamp duty bill is due to climb by £12,500 across inner London and £10,031 across outer London come 1st July, with a further increase of £2,500 coming from 1st October.

To take the headache out of the stamp duty timeline and cost for London homebuyers, Benham and Reeves has launched their own comprehensive Stamp Duty Land Tax calculator

Finance Director at Benham and Reeves, Vidhur Mehra, commented:

“With different tax thresholds depending on the nationality and buying position of homebuyers, as well as the staggered rates and timelines in place to secure a stamp duty saving, homebuyers across London can be forgiven for feeling a tad confused.

The good news is that there is still a considerable saving on offer for both domestic and foreign buyers although this is substantially higher for those completing before the first phase of the extension expires.

So it’s understandable that many will want to complete before this initial phase ends to maximise their budget in the current market, particularly non-UK buyers who now also have the addition of a two per cent surcharge to contend with.”

Domestic London homebuyer and stamp duty owed

Table shows the stamp duty owed by domestic London homebuyers for a primary property purchase during each phase of the SDLT holiday
Location Current average house price SDLT holiday phase 1 <Change> SDLT holiday phase 2 <Change> Return to regular SDLT
(8th July 2020 to 30th June 2021) (1st July 2021 to 30th September 2021) (from 1st October 2021)
London £501,320 £66 £12,500 £12,566 £2,500 £15,066
Inner London £600,310 £5,015 £12,500 £17,515 £2,500 £20,015
Outer London £450,618 £0 £10,031 £10,031 £2,500 £12,531
Table shows the stamp duty owed by domestic London homebuyers for a secondary property purchase during each phase of the SDLT holiday
Location Current average house price SDLT holiday phase 1 <Change> SDLT holiday phase 2 <Change> Return to regular SDLT
(8th July 2020 to 30th June 2021) (1st July 2021 to 30th September 2021) (from 1st October 2021)
London £501,320 £15,106 £12,500 £27,606 £2,500 £30,106
Inner London £600,310 £23,025 £12,500 £35,525 £2,500 £38,025
Outer London £450,618 £13,519 £10,031 £23,549 £2,500 £26,049

Non-UK London homebuyer and stamp duty owed

Table shows the stamp duty owed by non-UK London homebuyers for a primary property purchase during each phase of the SDLT holiday
Location Current average house price SDLT holiday phase 1 extension <Change> SDLT holiday phase 2 <Change> Return to regular SDLT
(1st April 2021 to 30th June 2021) (1st July 2021 to 30th September 2021) (from 1st October 2021)
London £501,320 £10,092 £12,500 £22,592 £2,500 £25,092
Inner London £600,310 £17,022 £12,500 £29,522 £2,500 £32,022
Outer London £450,618 £9,012 £10,031 £19,043 £2,500 £21,543
Table shows the stamp duty owed by non-UK London homebuyers for a secondary property purchase during each phase of the SDLT holiday
Location Current average house price SDLT holiday phase 1 extension <Change> SDLT holiday phase 2 <Change> Return to regular SDLT
(1st April 2021 to 30th June 2021) (1st July 2021 to 30th September 2021) (from 1st October 2021)
London £501,320 £25,132 £12,500 £37,632 £2,500 £40,132
Inner London £600,310 £35,031 £12,500 £47,531 £2,500 £50,031
Outer London £450,618 £22,531 £10,031 £32,562 £2,500 £35,062
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About the Author

Established in 1958, Benham and Reeves is one of London’s oldest, independently owned property lettings and sales agents. With specialism in residential sales, corporate lettings and property management in prime areas of London, the company operates from eighteen prominently located branches and five international offices.

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