Online quote tools quick to respond to SDLT change

Whilst numerous changes were widely expected in the run-up to the Autumn Budget, stamp duty (SDLT) seemed to be the topic generating the most interest.

Its mention also seemed to gather the most cheers when it was brought up by Philip Hammond in Wednesday’s Budget. Here, he confirmed the abolition of the tax for first-time buyers on property purchases up to £300,000. In addition, for first-time buyers wanting to buy a property up to £500,000, the first £300,000 would not be taxed.

The abolition of the tax has been met with some scepticism, but the Government has since dismissed this, stating that its impact is sure to benefit those who would have otherwise been held back by the tax.

However, in order for prospective buyers to see the impact of the change, it first needs to be implemented by conveyancers – namely in their quote tools.

Aiming to ease the consumer experience, these online tools can improve accessibility for users, as well as providing a clearer idea of the fees that will need to be paid. This builds on the report from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). Highlighting the need for greater transparency in the legal sector, prices were brought up as a key barrier for consumers.

Online conveyancing services have been quick to amend their quote tools to be in line with the SDLT change, with businesses like Hoowla and Today’s Homemover taking immediate action following the announcement of the reform.

Easing the first-time buyer experience appears to be a priority across the industry, with law firm, Homeward Legal launching a specialist hub solely dedicated to first-time buyers.

Though the long-term impact of the SDLT reform is yet to be seen, the change comes a month after Wales announced its own reform to the tax. This means that those looking to buy a property worth up to £150,000 will not need to pay stamp duty – the price of an average property in Wales.

Today's Conveyancer