The Government have recently taken a number of steps to support house building and construction in the context of the global economic downturn. In September 2008 as part of a £1 billion package of targeted support for home owners, home buyers and the house building sector, the Government announced that stamp duty land tax would not apply to purchases of residential property of £175,000 or less for 12 months from 3 September 2008. Budget 2009 announced an extension until 31 December 2009. Around 160,000 transactions have benefited from this fiscal measure.
Previously, Budget 2007 announced details of a stamp duty land tax exemption for new zero-carbon homes which supports the Government’s wider housing and environmental objectives. As part of Budget 2008 the Government extended the exemption to new flats, retrospectively from 1 October 2007.