Stamp duty holiday until 31st March 2021

September 3rd, 2020

  • For anyone who has been living under a rock, Rishi Sunak announced a Stamp Duty Holiday that will start with immediate effect.

    So, what does this mean for those wanting to sell their property?

    Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s landmark announcement of a stamp duty holiday until the end of next March is a huge boost for home buyers that will help get people moving and save movers thousands of pounds.

    The tax threshold for home purchases has been temporarily increased from £125,000 to £500,000, in a move that has been widely welcomed by home hunters and the housebuilding industry.

    Under the changes, homebuyers will not pay any tax on main homes up to £500,000 until 31 March 2021.

    It has been calculated that the average stamp duty saving will be around £4,500, with nine out of ten buyers this year now paying no stamp duty at all on purchases. The change will also include second homes, however, investors will still be subject to the three per cent stamp duty surcharge.

    What is Stamp Duty?

    Most run-of-the-mill residential property purchases over a certain amount (£125,000 in England and Northern Ireland) now require tax to be paid. This tax is known as Stamp Duty, or – to go by its full name – Stamp Duty Land Tax.

    The amount you would usually need to pay depends on a few things, such as:

    • Where you live. Stamp Duty rates, bandings and discounts vary between England & Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
    • The value of your new property. There are varying rates of stamp duty, depending on how much your property is being purchased for. The more expensive it is, the higher the tax bracket.
    • Whether you’re a first-time buyer. First-time buyers get a discount on their Stamp Duty. How much of a discount depends on where you live.
    • Whether you own other properties. If you own other properties, expect to pay higher stamp duty rates.

    My advice to potential buyers and sellers is to act fast.

Relaxed Planning Permissions Under New Laws

September 3rd, 2020


New rules allowing homeowners and landlords to extend their homes and convert unused shops

As of September, homeowners will be able to “fast track” their home extensions, ministers have said.

The new laws cut waiting times from 16 weeks to just eight and form part of plans to modernise the current “outdated” system. Not only that but the new proposals also mean that shops no longer in use can be converted into housing without a full planning application.

The idea is that unused commercial properties can be quickly switched into homes to support the need for housing and ideally boost high streets too. Great news for highstreets that now stand empty due to the rise of online shopping but sad because it could spell the end of our beloved highstreet. Perhaps for a future article?

Speaking to the Sun Newspaper, housing secretary Robert Jenrick said he hoped the powers would be used to add space for elderly relatives or bedrooms for growing families.

“We are reforming the planning system and cutting out unnecessary bureaucracy to give small business owners the freedom they need to adapt and evolve, and to renew our town centres with new enterprises and more housing,” he said.

“These changes will help transform boarded up, unused buildings safely into high quality homes at the heart of their communities.”

The Two Story Extension Law

One of the biggest changes in the news rules will allow families to build upwards without months of paperwork but there has been a lot of concerns over this.

Local Government Association housing spokesman David Renard, said: “The planning system is not a barrier to housebuilding with nine in 10 planning applications approved by councils.

Neighbours have the right to comment on a development and “should not be exposed to the potential of unsightly large-scale unsuitable extensions being built unchallenged and without scrutiny in their communities,” he said.

Mr Renard added: “It risks giving developers the freedom to ride roughshod over local areas with communities having no way of ensuring they meet high quality standards, provide any affordable homes or ensure roads, schools and health services are in place.”

Under the new rules developers will still have to comply with building regulations and consider the impact on neighbours and the appearance of the extension.

But some are warning there could be problems down the line if these reforms are not carried out carefully.

How will coronavirus affect the property market

September 3rd, 2020

How will coronavirus affect the UK property market

The UK property market is currently enjoying a mini boom since reopening after the lockdown, but experts believe house prices could fall later this year.

Here, I try to explain what’s happening to property values and offer some advice for those looking to move.

What’s happening to the property market?

Property markets across the UK are now open again, meaning estate agents are conducting in-person house viewings and buyers are able to move home once more!

All UK governments have also temporarily cut stamp duty. This means buyers could potentially save up to £15,000 in tax if they move home before next April.

The cut is designed to reignite the property market in the wake of COVID-19, though there are signs that the wheels were already beginning to turn. The property portal Rightmove reported 175,000 ‘missing’ sellers between March and May, but says it saw an ‘unexpected mini-boom’ in June after the market reopened around the UK. This resulted in the number of homes coming on to the market rising significantly.

How have house prices changed?

It’s too early to tell exactly what impact coronavirus will have on house prices, and it’s likely that the figures we see in the coming months will fluctuate significantly. The most reliable barometer of house prices is the Land Registry’s UK House Price Index, but this was suspended due to too few transactions taking place.

Rightmove relaunched its own index last month, reporting that asking prices have increased by 2.4% compared to the period before the lockdown, to reach a record high of £320,265. While Rightmove’s data gives an indication that sellers are asking more for their properties, its conclusions are based on asking prices rather than sold prices, so it’s difficult to get a handle on how much buyers are actually paying.

Other indices have reported mixed results. Nationwide says house prices fell by 0.1% year-on-year in June, while Halifax found they increased by 2.5%.

To find out how property prices have changed within your area, contact me today. I am here to help.