The stamp duty holidays tempting buyers into fixer-uppers. Here’s why you might want to follow suit

Stamp duty relief is giving buyers more cash to spend on getting their homes just how they want them

home renovation by getty images
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The stamp duty holiday announced by chancellor Rishi Sunak has prompted Brits to get moving. Some 14 per cent are thinking about buying, or have already done so, to take advantage of the stamp duty relief, according to a survey conducted on behalf of Checkatrade.

But a large proportion of buyers are looking to spend the money they’ll save. Some 59 per cent are more inclined to go for a fixer-upper and splash the cash on home improvements. Being able to put their own mark on their new place is these buyers’ goal, and the savings allows them to consider a wider range of properties than they could have without the stamp duty relief.

The stamp duty holiday lasts until 31 March 2021. Buyers who complete on the purchase of a home that costs up to £500,000 (and is a main residence) between 8 July 2020 and 31 July 2021 won’t have any stamp duty to pay. Spending more? You’ll only be taxed on the home’s value above the temporary £500,000 threshold.

If you pay £500,000 or more to buy your home that could mean £15,000 of savings – or £15,000 to revamp a tired home.

The kitchen is the number one choice for improvements made using the saved stamp duty with 40 per cent of those surveyed saying they’d spend it here. Some 30 per cent would use it on the bathroom, and 27 per cent on the living room.

Surprisingly, given how widespread working from home has become, only 12 per cent were considering using the saved money on a home workspace inside, with 11 per cent considering spending on one outside. 

Luxury was on the minds of some stamp duty savers with 12 per cent saying they’d use the money for a home cinema, home entertainment or games room.

Our advice if you’re thinking about investing your stamp duty savings on a fixer-upper? Make sure you get estimates from the professionals about how much your revamp plans are likely to cost you so you can draw up your budget.

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Sarah Warwick
Freelance Editor

Sarah is a freelance journalist and editor writing for websites, national newspapers, and magazines. She’s spent most of her journalistic career specialising in homes – long enough to see fridges become smart, decorating fashions embrace both minimalism and maximalism, and interiors that blur the indoor/outdoor link become a must-have. She loves testing the latest home appliances, revealing the trends in furnishings and fittings for every room, and investigating the benefits, costs and practicalities of home improvement. It's no big surprise that she likes to put what she writes about into practice, and is a serial house revamper. For, Sarah reviews coffee machines and vacuum cleaners, taking them through their paces at home to give us an honest, real life review and comparison of every model.