A 3% increase in stamp duty? Ouch. Find out who will be affected

Anyone buying a property gets twitchy at the mention of stamp duty. Because it adds a hefty chunk to the cost of buying a home. So when the Chancellor announced a 3% increase in stamp duty in his Autumn statement, would-be homeowners were understandably nervous.

So if you're hoping to buy a property in London in 2016, here's what you need to know.

The good news?
If you're buying a house and plan to live in it, you won't be affected.

The bad news?
If you're a landlord, or buying a second home, the chancellor is going for the jugular.

Because the increase of 3% in stamp duty will be applied to anyone purchasing a buy to let property or buying a second home.

But the 3% is only half the story. If the purchase price of the buy-to-let or second home exceeds £125,000, the stamp duty costs increase.

Here's how the figures look:
• For a house priced up to £125,000 - the stamp duty will be 3%
• Between £125,001 - £250,000 - the stamp duty will be 5%
• £250,001 - £925,000 - the stamp duty will be 8%
• £925,001 - £1.5m - the stamp duty will be 13%
• Over £1.5m - the stamp duty will be 15%
• £925,001 - £1.5m - the stamp duty will be 13%
• Over £1.5m - the stamp duty will be 15%

And the reason for the increase?
It's an attempt to level the housing playing field, particularly for first time buyers and families. Or as George Osbourne put it in his autumn statement:

"Frankly, people buying a home to let should not be squeezing out families who can't afford a home to buy."

Whether the rise in stamp duty will have the desired effect, remains to be seen. But we've seen a huge upsurge in activity from those hoping to buy a property in London. Either as a buy-to-let, a crash pad in the city, or for children attending university.

While the stamp duty announcement might be unwelcome in some sectors, it's certainly set the clock ticking as the April deadline for buying a property approaches.

Hoping to buy a property in London before the stamp duty rise kicks in? Call us for help.