As the UK slowly emerges from lockdown and attempts to return to some degree of normality (Brexit perhaps - remember that?), Number 11 will this afternoon unleash its latest weapon to stimulate the economy in the form of a summer statement.
And, rather like Apple tend to do prior to the launch of a new product, we have been drip-fed rumours and snippets of information with regards to what this might entail, to get us in the mood so to speak. One such nugget of intel has been the possibility of a stamp duty holiday and, although on the surface this may seem like it's good news for everyone all round, that might not be the case.
Based on the most widely circulating rumour that the property tax could be scrapped on values up to £500,000 and start immediately, new research from Rightmove has calculated who would benefit from this the most.
As first-time-buyers already have an exemption up to £300,000, the data is based on those who already have a foot on the property ladder. In addition to this, it centres around areas where the current average asking price is between £450,000 and £500,000.
Unsurprisingly, therefore, the research revealed that the majority of regions set to benefit would be in the South East of England, swallowing up 19 of the 28 areas in the £450,000 to £500,000 price bracket.
The biggest savings would be in Dorking, Surrey where average asking prices are around £498k - creating savings of almost £15k if there was no Stamp Duty to pay.
Buyers in Lymington, Hampshire, would save almost as much - £14,916 on the average asking price of £498,326.
Only two areas from the Northwest, Bramhall and Wilmslow appear in the list, with buyers saving over £13k on Stamp Duty.
The top ten areas are:
1: Dorking, Surrey - South East - saving £14,921
2: Lymington, Hampshire - South East - saving £14,916
3: Sunbury-On-Thames, Surrey - South East - saving £14,904
4: Barton On Sea, New Milton, Hampshire - South East - saving £14,893
5: Lewes, East Sussex - South East - saving - £14,565
6: Broxbourne, Hertfordshire - East of England - saving £14,335
7: Hove, East Sussex - South East - saving £14,073
8: Oxford, Oxfordshire - South East - saving £13,955
9: Leckhampton, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire - South West - saving £13,876
10: Hertford, Hertfordshire - East of England - saving £13,872
Miles Shipside, housing market analyst for Rightmove, comments: “Buyers in higher-priced areas with bigger deposits would benefit most if the Stamp Duty threshold was raised to £500,000.
“If it is included in the summer update it needs to be made clear what it would mean for people home hunting or currently going through the conveyancing process right now, as an announcement now that doesn’t come into play until the Autumn will only lead to people delaying their plans.
“There’s currently record housing demand but the market also needs the ability for lenders to extend the availability of low deposit mortgages, vital to healthy first-time buyer volumes that help drive the rest of the market.
“A Stamp Duty holiday without better mortgage availability isn’t really helpful for hard-pressed potential first-time buyers who are already mainly exempt from it anyway.”