Category: Stamp Duty (3)

HM Revenue and Customs report a 7% rise in the number of residential properties sold in May, bringing the monthly total to its highest since October ’08. This follows yesterday’s report by the British Bankers’ Association, claiming a steady six-month rise in mortgage approvals.

Sources: HMRC, BBA and Rat & Mouse

The Rat and Mouse Property Blog reports a terrific piece in Citywire about how purchasers of £500,000 plus properties can avoid paying Stamp Duty. There are a number of systems, but what they share is a nominal “middle man”… a company that pays “85% of the purchase price”, leases the property to the buyer with an option to transfer the freehold. Because, technically, the property hasn’t actually changed hands, no Stamp Duty is payable. It’s complex, involves lawyers who’ll take up to 50% of the duty saved, but it’s real and according to Citywire, it’s happening.

Sources: Citywire & Rat and Mouse