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Mark Evans, chair of the Wales Committee of the Law Society of England and Wales, has responded to the Land Transaction Tax holiday announcement by the Welsh Government (14 July 2020).

He said: “We welcome the support and stimulus for the residential conveyancing market in Wales.

“Transaction volumes were significantly down during lockdown and June saw negative annual house price growth for the first time since 2012.

“This is a time of upheaval in the lives of many who need to move home for various economic, social and personal reasons. A temporary reduction in residential property transaction costs to support such people and to bring forward demand makes sense. It will also be welcome news for solicitors whose volume of work has fallen.”

The Land Transaction Tax holiday is to take effect from 27 July, as this is the date the First Minister had previously advised people to prepare for reopening the housing market fully, and will be in force until the end of March 2021.

It will bring the rate payable for purchases of main residences valued at between £180,000 and £250,000 to zero. Such properties selling for less than £180,000 are already exempt from paying the tax. It does not cover buy-to-let or second homes.

Evans added: “The home moving market will be stimulated but Welsh Government must remain vigilant to ensure the right balance of stability, fairness and confidence in the market is in place once this temporary measure ends.”

The Welsh Government has updated its tax calculator and other online services to reflect this change. You can view the calculator & further details here.

Conveyancers: ‘Now’s the time to have a holiday before the work ramps up’

The Law Society Wales met with Wyn Williams, Head of Residential Property at Harding Evans Solicitors in Cardiff, for his reaction to the Land Transaction Tax holiday in Wales and the challenges the delayed start date may pose to the sector. The two-minute interview is available in the @LawSocWales tweet, below: