AFTER a long delay, changes to the law designed to help stimulate sales of new property by abolishing and reducing Property Transfer Fees for a period of six months have finally been agreed and published.
The changes came into effect on Friday 2nd December and will remain in force for a period of six months. They apply only to the first sale of a property, where the contract is dated and deposited within the six month window. Specifically:
- For those who pay VAT on their house purchase, no transfer fees are payable.
- For those who do not pay VAT on their purchase, property transfer fees are reduced by 50%.
There are provisions in the law that prevent its abuse, for example, by buyers withdrawing contracts of sale deposited at the Land Registry for Specific Performance, changing their dates and then re-depositing them.
No exemption or discount is available for sale agreements dated prior to 2 December 2011.