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A green, wooden house, with word blocks spelling "Stamp Duty"; our Conveyancing Solicitors in Lancaster discuss the impact of downsizing your house on Stamp Duty.
In recent years, an increasing number of homeowners are considering downsizing – moving to a smaller, more manageable property. While this can offer numerous benefits such as reduced living costs and less maintenance, it's important to understand the financial implications, particularly regarding Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) in England. 
Downsizing and its impact on SDLT is a topic of great interest, especially for those looking to make a more manageable move later in life. However, as Chloe Cardwell, director and conveyancing solicitor at MG Legal’s Lancaster office will tell you, individuals downsizing their homes are not exempt from paying SDLT in the UK. 

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What is Downsizing? 

Downsizing refers to the process of moving to a smaller home. Often considered by retirees looking to simplify their lifestyle, it's also becoming popular among families and individuals seeking to reduce expenses and declutter their lives. 

Benefits of Downsizing 

Reduced Costs 

Smaller homes typically mean lower utility bills, insurance, and property taxes. 

Less Maintenance 

Smaller properties generally require less upkeep, which is especially appealing to those seeking a simpler lifestyle. 


Moving to a smaller space encourages reducing possessions, leading to a more organised and less cluttered living environment. 

Understanding SDLT for Downsizers 

When you downsize, you're typically selling one property and buying another, often of a lower value. While the sale of your existing home doesn't attract SDLT, the purchase of the new, smaller property may. The amount of SDLT you pay depends on the purchase price of the new property, your property ownership history, and whether it's classified as a second home or rental property. 

Current SDLT Thresholds 

For residential properties, the nil-rate SDLT threshold is £250,000. This means you don't pay SDLT on properties priced below this amount. First-time buyers enjoy a higher threshold of £425,000. However, downsizers are generally not first-time buyers and thus don't qualify for this relief. 

The Current SDLT Situation 

When downsizing, you'll pay SDLT on the purchase of your new home, but the rate might be lower than what you paid for your larger home, depending on its value. 

Why choose MG Legal Solicitors? 

No hidden fees.

Transparent fees. 

Our solicitors offer their services on a clear fixed-fee or hourly rate, and accept personal injury claims on a no win no fee basis. 
We are the experts

We are the experts. 

Here at MG Legal, our team of friendly solicitors are fully-qualified and have over thirty years' experience in helping clients just like you. 
Regular Communication

Regular communication. 

When you work with MG Legal, your solicitor will be in regular contact so you have step-by-step updates. 
Multiple Office locations.

Multiple office locations. 

If you are looking to instruct our solicitors, we have offices in Garstang, Longridge, Lancaster and Lytham for your convenience. 

Special Considerations 

Second Homes 

If the downsized property is an additional home, a higher SDLT rate applies. 

Property Type 

The type of property being purchased, whether residential or mixed-use, can affect SDLT rates. 

Example Scenario: 

Selling a house worth £500,000 and buying a smaller property for £300,000. 
SDLT on the new property would be calculated on £300,000. 

Financial Planning for Downsizing 

Calculate Potential Savings 

Factor in the reduced costs of a smaller home against the SDLT payable on your new property. 

Budget for Moving Costs 

Don't forget to account for moving expenses, legal fees, and potential home improvements. 

MG Legal: Your Local Conveyancing Experts 

At MG Legal, our team of conveyancing solicitors understand the complexities of property transactions, including those involving downsizing. Our conveyancing solicitors hold the Conveyancing Quality Accreditation, and with offices throughout the North West in Preston, Lancaster, Garstang, Longridge, and Lytham, we are well-equipped to guide you through the process of buying your new home, and ensure the home buying process goes as smoothly as possible. 
The information provided is based on the current SDLT regulations as of 2024 and is subject to change. Always consult with a professional for the most accurate and up-to-date advice. For more detailed information, please refer to the (UK Government's website) on SDLT. 
Downsizing can offer a refreshing new chapter in life, with financial and lifestyle benefits. However, it's essential to consider the SDLT implications when purchasing a new property. Proper planning and understanding of SDLT can ensure a smooth and cost-effective transition to your new, smaller home. 
Remember, this is a simplified overview, and SDLT rates and regulations can change. Always consult a financial advisor or property expert for personalised advice. 

Why choose MG Legal, Conveyancing Solicitors? 

Clear, fixed-fees 

Fully-Qualified Conveyancing Solicitors 

Tailored Service 

Multiple Office Locations 

Decades of Experience 

Home Visits 

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