Property news: Budget 2012
Budget 2012: stamp duty on £2m homes raised to 7%
The chancellor staged a tax grab on wealthy homebuyers by raising stamp duty on homes costing £2m or more to 7%, and attempted to slam the door shut on “morally repugnant” tax avoidance by hitting those who buy such properties through a company with a punitive 15% charge.
The 7% rate equates to a £140,000 tax bill on a £2m house, and a rise in the bill on a £5m house from £250,000 to £350,000. Some commentators said the measures meant the Liberal Democrats had more or less succeeded in pushing through a version of their “mansion tax”. Read more on this story
Property sales rise in February, Revenue says
The number of homes sold in the UK rose slightly in February, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) said.
There were 65,000 completed sales, up by 7% from January and 18% higher than a year ago.
The figures show little evidence of any rush by first-time buyers to beat the reintroduction of stamp duty on 24 March on homes worth £250,000 or less. Read more on this story
Mortgage lending up on last year
Mortgage lending is higher year-on-year for the seventh month in a row as first-time buyers race to take advantage of a stamp-duty concession before it ends.
About £10.7 billion was lent in February, a 14% rise on the same month in 2011, the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) said, with the two-year stamp-duty holiday for first-time buyers purchasing homes worth between £125,000 and £250,000 ending on Saturday. Read more on this story