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‘We were over the moon’ - Homebuyers in Suffolk make the most of stamp duty cuts

PUBLISHED: 19:00 11 October 2020 | UPDATED: 20:11 11 October 2020

Thidara Udomritkul and her partner Alex have been helped by stamp duty cuts Picture: Thidara Udomritkul

Thidara Udomritkul and her partner Alex have been helped by stamp duty cuts Picture: Thidara Udomritkul

Archant

Suffolk homebuyers have been some of the thousands making the most of the stamp duty holiday on property.

The policy came into effect in July for properties up to £500,000 and will remain until March 2021.

In just two months, estate agents Benham and Reeves estimate that homebuyers have saved over £100 million in stamp duty across the UK.

One of those making the most of the cuts was Thidara Udomritkul, 29, and her partner Alex who have recently moved to Martlesham from London.

It’s Ms Udomritkul’s first time buying a house but not her partner’s.

“We’ve been looking to buy for a year,” said Ms Udomritkul.

“My partner was not a first time buyer so we thought I would end up forfeiting my right to stamp duty relief.

“It was going to be a tight budget.”

It was as the couple put in their offer, that Chancellor Rishi Sunak made the announcement regarding the changes to stamp duty - designed to jump start the property market after the coronavirus lockdown.

It could not have come at a better time for the couple as both Ms Udomritkul and her partner had been made redundant as a result of the pandemic.

“We work in the travel industry,” said Ms Udomritkul.

“It’s been hit hard.”

Since then Ms Udomritkul has found a new job working from home, which helped the couple further when it came to moving to the area.

However, the changes to stamp duty really helped the young couple financially.

“We were over the moon,” said Ms Udomritkul.

“It’s just a chance to get away from the city and get away from London house prices which are unaffordable.”

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Just across the border Sue Paradine and her partner were able to make the most of the cuts after they lost out on a house at the start of lockdown.

The couple are now moving from Mattishall to Attleborough.

“We put the offer in before lockdown but after was when all the problems started,” said Ms Paradine.

“It was difficult getting a surveyor to come out, my partner is self employed so his money started to dry up.

“When the chain fell through in May we were pretty upset but then the stamp duty relief was announced just after we found out our buyer had resold so it worked out well.

“It has taken seven months however start to finish it’s not been the easiest of times.”

Ms Paradine said that they were surprised to be able to make the most of the cuts.

“It wasn’t something we thought would happen or we thought there might be a catch,” said Ms Paradine.

“So we’re delighted to find out we could save so much and with my partner being self employed it has definitely taken the pressure off with all the other costs involved with moving.”

Director of Benham and Reeves, Marc von Grundherr, said: “Given the fact that the holiday has only been in place for a few short months, the money saved by homebuyers as a result is quite astounding.

“Of course, it has caused demand to go through the roof and so you could argue that in ‘regular’ market conditions the saving wouldn’t be quite as considerable.

“However, it has helped the housing market bounce back from pandemic uncertainty at an alarming rate, helping to avoid a property price crash, while benefiting thousands of homebuyers in the process.

“It will be interesting to see the final scores on the doors once the holiday ends but at this rate, the money saved is going to be huge.

“You could argue that the tax should be abolished completely as it’s nothing more than an archaic money grab from the Government, to the detriment of those who are already stretching to afford the most expensive purchase in life.

“Based on these figures, you wouldn’t be the only one and it does highlight just how much is paid to the Government via stamp duty tax.”

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