Stamp Duty Changes – How does this affect you? Stamp Duty is the tax you cough up on property purchases if the amount you pay falls within the payment threshold.

The amount you actually pay depends on the purchase price. Under the existing rules, the threshold where you start paying in England and Northern Ireland was £125,000 – or £300,000 for first-time buyers where the purchase price was less than £500,000.

Where the price was greater than this, you paid a percentage:

  • 2% on the portion of a property between £125,001 and £250,000.

  • 5% on the portion ­between £250,001 and £925,000.

  • 10% between £925,001 and £1,500,000.

  • 12% on the portion ­costing more than £1,500,001.

Under the new rules for residential properties, the £125,000 threshold is being ­temporarily increased to £500,000. This means there will be no stamp duty to pay on property purchases up to this amount until 31st March 2021. Landlords and second home buyers are also eligible for the tax cut but will still have to pay the extra 3% of stamp duty they were charged under the previous rules.

Homeowners - Worried about your current mortgage? Save thousands on your home loan with our top tips!

Furlough is set to end next month and already, job cuts are pushing 650,000, leaving thousands worried about how to pay the bills, let alone the mortgage.

Whether you’re concerned you might lose your job or not, cutting the cost of any outgoing is a sensible move right now and that’s even truer for your mortgage, which is likely to a household’s single biggest outgoing.

#TIP 1 - Move off your standard variable rate

One of the biggest mortgage mistakes you can make is slipping onto your lender’s standard variable rate - this is the interest rate you default to when your fixed rate deal comes to an end - and not then moving back onto a cheaper deal.

#TIP 2 - Ask your lender for a better deal before you switch

Make sure you ask your existing lender what the best deal you’re eligible for with them before committing to another lender. They may offer an attractive deal to stay with them and it will save you paying any solicitors fees to switch lenders. If they do offer you another deal, it will help you to compare this with what other lenders are offering you.

Andrew Jones - Just Mortgages

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