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Housing Boom is not driven by the Stamp Duty Holiday

A think tank has looked at compelling evidence and found that the current boom isn’t in fact driven by the Stamp Duty Holiday.
If you’re a home owner, this is exciting news and suggests that any predicted lull in activity and prices is not going to materialise.

The Resolution Foundation found that those areas that would have benefitted most from the Stamp Duty savings didn’t enjoy the best price increases, whilst other areas that received negligible benefit from the holiday had much higher price increases. iStock_000002696243XSmall

So if the current boom isn’t driven by tax savings, what is causing all of the gains? It would appear that the main driving force is very low interest rates with many lenders offering deals below 1% and the increasing availability of finance and higher loan to value deals.

With no current indication that lending rates are likely to go back up again any time soon, this suggests that the market will remain buoyant and strong going into 2022.

If you’re buying this is excellent news as you’ll save thousands in interest payments whilst those who are selling will benefit from higher prices, especially if you’re downsizing.

Great news all round in fact. For further help and advice on selling or buying your next home call our office and speak to an expert. We’re here to help you.

It’s Coming Home!

Pila, Italy - May 26, 2011: Vintage Subbuteo miniature toy of a soccer player of the English national team. Subbuteo is a set of table top games simulating team sports such as soccer, cricket, rugby and hockey created by Peter Adolph.

What a few weeks it has been, with Southgate’s men providing a welcome distraction from the ongoing nightmare that is Covid 19. Whether you are a football fan or not, it’s hard not to be inspired by the England football team and their excellent run of form in the Euros. With reported viewing figures of 20m plus for the Ukraine match it really seems to have caught the nation’s attention. The Germany game was a particular highlight for me not only for the incredible result but seeing the atmosphere in stadium, with actual fans in attendance!

Whilst Gareth’s men have been performing on the pitch It’s been a very busy period for the property sector at home. At the end of June we saw the close of the stamp duty holiday from £250,000 up to £500,000. As a result, there was a rush of completions as pressure mounted to keep chains together and ensure sales went through. This was a stressful time for everyone concerned. I wanted to say a big thank you to all our clients who we manged to help negotiate through this particularly tricky period. Also, a big thank you is due to all our friends in the conveyancing world – I expect many of you will be booking well deserved holidays very soon! Remember There is still a stamp duty holiday up to £250,000 until the 1/10/21 when we then return to the pre-pandemic rate of band of 0 Stamp Duty up to £125,000.

We have experienced a record number of transactions this year and the selling conditions even post the Stamp Duty holiday appear to be very good, this is largely due to a shortage of properties on the market. So, we are hopeful that although for most people stamp duty has returned, the market is showing no signs of slowing down.

Something that grabbed our attention this week was a post on social media sharing an appeal from Thorns Primary School to raise money to repair their swimming pool. Having learnt to swim there myself (a long time ago), we just wanted to wish them the very best of luck with their fundraising, we have shared the link to the on our social media pages.

Finally, by the time this article is published we will have played our semi final against Denmark and I hope we will find ourselves looking forward to a final on Sunday. Surely, it’s coming home.

 

Investment & Lettings Opportunities?

With the gradual return to normality having been mapped out by Boris Johnson this week, investors and landlords will be wondering where they stand once all of the dust has settled following the pandemic.

The stamp duty holiday (whether it’s lengthened or not) hasn’t had that much of an impact on the investor market, though lack of students and an immobile workforce certainly has. With lockdown restrictions being eased over the coming weeks and schools and universities returning to their on-site studies, the need for rental accommodation is due to grow rapidly through 2021. Interior-web

With many small and large businesses sadly having ceased trading, there will probably be a large movement of labour to new jobs across the country and a need from workers for accommodation in new locations. With many potential home buyers having felt the pinch and struggling to gather big enough deposits to purchase homes, inevitably this will push demand further in the private rented sector. Great news if you are an existing landlord or potential investor as this will have a positive impact on rents and demand for quality rented accommodation across the region.

Interest rates are set to remain low for the foreseeable future in order to encourage the economy to recover, therefore buy to let mortgage rates should remain competitive throughout 2021. If you are a potential landlord or looking to extend your portfolio then this could be an excellent time to pick up good bricks and mortar investments.

Elizabeth Davenport can help you with managing your lettings portfolio, we can also offer guidance on buying the right property. For further information speak to our lettings manager, Carol Garritty who will be delighted to have a chat and offer impartial advice.

What about the Stamp Duty Cliff Edge?

With the stamp duty holiday due to end in a few short weeks, those wanting to take advantage of this tax break are rapidly running out of time. In recent days and weeks there has been some negative commentary from various quarters about “cliff edges” and the “race to beat the deadline”. Will there be a ‘stamp duty cliff edge’ as predicted?
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Whilst you may well agree that paying large amounts of tax isn’t the most exciting proposition, the reality is that stamp duty has been a part of English Law since 1694 when it was introduced during the reign of William and Mary in order to raise funds for the war against France. It was introduced on conveyances of sale, including the sale of land in 1808. So for most homebuyers Stamp Duty has been a reality since we purchased our first home and remains so today.

With the prospect of having to pay Stamp Duty again soon, a few buyers and sellers may decide not to move home after all and stay put as they were only really moving in the first place to save some money. Lucky them.

In the real world, most of us move home for a variety of practical reasons: we need a bigger house, we need a smaller house, we want a garden, we need more bedrooms for our growing family, we are getting divorced, a relative has died, the house has been repossessed, we want to live closer to Grandma, the neighbours are a nuisance, we want a house with a view, we prefer a south facing garden, we need to be by a good school, our employer has moved our job location, etc. The list goes on.

The majority of us don’t have the luxury of deciding to move because “there’s a stamp duty holiday”. So in the real world, the property market will march on and it will be business as usual. 2021 will no doubt see a resurgent economy and a resurgent housing market.

For further advice on your property sale or rental speak to one of our friendly team of experts.

Merry Christmas!

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Whether you can believe it or not some of the most recent statistics released from Rightmove have revealed some really surprising and unusual activities over our Christmas holiday’s! I’m not talking about “Pie Face” or “Charades” here, I’m simply talking about online property views.

Rightmove reports show a whopping increase of over 20% activity levels between Christmas and the New Year.

The last published statistics revealed that on On Christmas Day there were nearly 14 million page views and over 10,000 people took time out from the festivities to send emails to agents.

On Boxing Day it gets traditionally  busier, with page views jumping to over 25 million.

Views peak on New Year’s Day, with an average of over 38 million page views  (This is no doubt due to many being unable to even step out of their armchairs!).

What does this really tell us? Well, unarguably it shows that when we have time, we use it. Christmas and more specifically the New Year, with the hopes and ambitions it promises (who can’t fail to at least have hopes and ambitions for the year ahead whether realised or not!), is time for prediction and planning. Physical viewings are not so common, but planning ahead and looking at what’s available, can be the spark that lights the fire. Having your property on the market over the Christmas period doesn’t mean that Mr and Mrs Smith are going to disrupt your Figgie Pudding and Brandy Snaps. It means simply that they will likely plan to visit your house after Christmas.

Seeing your home for sale may persuade them to sell their own property and enable them to move forwards. Yours could be the property that instigates those decisions. And more importantly, yours could be the property they buy as well.

Lastly, we just wanted to wish all our customers past, present and future a very Merry Christmas. 2020 has been such a testing year for everyone and we wish you all a happy, healthy and hopefully  successful 2021!

Autumn Market Update

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The UK housing market starts autumn with momentum following a post-lockdown mini-boom, making summer 2020 busier than usual. Buyer demand has soared, up 34% on a year ago according to Zoopla, while supply to the marketplace is at its highest level since March 2008, according to Rightmove. Over 81,000 property sales were recorded in August, which is up 15.6% on July, with competition in the market leading to one in eight properties selling at or above asking price. Larger properties and those with gardens are proving immensely popular, with the impact of COVID-19 set to have a lasting change on our home and work lifestyles. Price growth is strongest across the East Midlands and the North West, but across all regions the trajectory is positive.

Both the economy and consumer confidence have both shown signs of improvement throughout the summer. The economy grew by 6.6% in July (ONS), however it remains over 11% lower than pre-lockdown, while consumer sentiment continues to rise, albeit slowly. Recovery remains cautious as the government grapples with balancing the economy and public health. Stamp duty holidays across the nations offer a saving for many buyers, however, while interest rates remain low, a reduction in high loan-to-value lending products is impacting first-time buyers.

In the lettings market, as with the sales sector, demand for rental property increased over the summer, although new instructions remain muted, a continuation of the pre-lockdown trend. Average rental values across the UK rose by 1.5% in the year up to August, and yields remain attractive. Increased demand and a shortage of supply in many areas should help underpin rental values over the coming months. Just 13% of tenancies expire during the final quarter of the year but landlords will be keen to avoid unnecessary void periods.

Properties are selling quicker than they did a year ago, and latest mortgage approvals suggest the market is returning to more ‘normal’ levels. However, the forced pause in the housing market means 2020 sales levels will no doubt end below those of 2019. UK house price growth is at its highest level in over two years and revised forecasts anticipate property prices will end the year 2% higher, a significant reversal to the negative expectations anticipated as the market reopened. Interest rates are predicted to be held at 0.1% until 2022 offering hope of favourable buying and selling conditions for the foreseeable future.

CONTINUED ACTIVITY, COUNTDOWN TO MARCH

With no let up in activity for the property market in the Warwickshire Area and the half term holiday upon us, things look remarkably different in 2020 compared to years gone by. Those wanting to take advantage of the Stamp Duty holiday have 5 months left until the deadline. This may seem a long way off but with Christmas and new Year to come, the clock is definitely ticking down already.Sold Board Kenilworth

Traditionally the conveyancing process takes around 12 weeks on average. With significantly increased volumes at present, this time frame is now longer so waiting until after Christmas to go on sale or purchase will leave many would-be movers and buyers disappointed.

If you’re not bothered about Stamp Duty then there’s no problem. If you want to take advantage of potential savings of up to £15,000 then pick up the phone today and call us for more expert advice about moving home.

If you have a property in Leamington, Kenilworth, Warwick or surrounding villages then we can help you. We have hundreds of buyers registered who could well be interested in buying your home.

We’re also offering complimentary restaurant vouchers to home owners who go on the market with Elizabeth Davenport between now and the end of December. For further information call us on 01926 298 298.

STAMP DUTY HOLIDAY BOOST FOR BUYERS

In July, the Chancellor announced immediate plans for a Stamp Duty Holiday on the first £500,000 on residential property purchases.

This has been a huge boost for homebuyers and the property market as a whole. Buyers are making substantial savings when purchasing a home and this has meant additional sales with buyers and sellers who had previously been hesitating, now striking while the iron is hot and deciding to move home.iStock_000002696243XSmall

On a £300,000 purchase the saving is £5,000 (a new luxury bathroom) whilst on a £500,000 property the saving is a whopping £15,000 (average cost of a bespoke fitted Kitchen with appliances).

This could be a once in a lifetime opportunity if you are looking at moving home. In the coming months and years, the taxman could be looking to recuperate some of the lost revenue that he has suffered during the lockdown. Taxes could rise (including stamp duty) in the future so this is an opportunity not to be missed.

Speaking as a buyer, my only regret is I moved house last November and have already stumped up a sizeable Stamp Duty payment to the Treasury in the last few months. Such is life.

If you would like to take advantage of this incredible opportunity or need further advice on moving home in the current market, please call our office on 01926 298 298 and we will be delighted to offer a free consultation.

Thank you Mr Sunak…

Prepare For a Quick Sale!

Like most things in life, preparation can be key to a successful outcome. Or put it another way “If you fail to prepare then you are preparing to fail” goes the saying. Popular-web

So why would you need to prepare for a quick sale of your home? Because quite simply finding a buyer is one of the simpler parts of the process in the current buoyant market (there is currently lots of pent up demand from buyers after the lockdown). Once a buyer is secured, the complicated legal process begins and this can take several months but on average takes around 12 weeks, depending upon the urgency of those involved and how quickly all parties are to getting paperwork filled out, responding to queries, etc.

If you are suitably motivated then you can begin preparation for this process beforehand. Start by finding a good local solicitor/conveyancer. Local means one that is based in the same town and will be familiar with most of the local housing stock as well as already having relationships with other local solicitors and Estate Agents. In addition you can begin filling out some of the paperwork required by the solicitors. “Property Information Questionnaires” are standard forms used by all conveyancers. We can provide one for you before a buyer is even found and you can get a head start on other sellers by completing it at the start of the process.

The majority of agreed sales that do fall through are as a result of delays in the legal process that drag the sale out and ultimately a change in circumstances down the line by either the sellers or the buyers causes a change of mind and a collapse in the process.

If you make the best preparations possible and help speed the process along by liaising closely with the Estate Agent and your solicitor you will increase your chances of success and a speedy move to your next home.

For more expert advice on the moving process or to get your property on sale call our office today on 01926 298 298 and we’ll be delighted to help.

Brexit, Coronavirus, panic buying. How will your property sale or purchase be affected?

The national Brexit crisis of 2019 now seems like a feeble storm in a teacup compared to the latest news headlines and developments. Aside from people’s fears regarding their own family’s health and wellbeing, most of us could also be forgiven for wondering what financial burdens Coronavirus may bring. ShoppingStampede

In terms of the property market, the signs of a slow down haven’t materialised at date of writing (11th March 2020). Whilst houses aren’t shifting at the same rate as sanitiser or loo roll, record sales were recorded by our Kenilworth & Leamington Branch in February and March has begun in much the same mould. Buyers clearly aren’t being deterred and are getting on with it. Sellers seem a little more hesitant and so there is a shortage of quality new property coming to market, thus if you’re considering selling then there couldn’t be a better time to take the plunge.

Once you have decided to go on the market then there may be some precautions worth taking. Consider what provisions your Estate Agent is taking to ensure your property continues to be marketed during the coming weeks. What contingency plans do they have in place in case their staff are unable to come into work, will they still be able to take calls and enquiries or will your house sale be forced to self isolate?

At Elizabeth Davenport, we have made extensive plans for every eventuality including ensuring that our phone lines will be fully manned in the coming weeks and months, allowing your home to be marketed fully and a sale achieved. Check with your current agent what provisions they have put in place, if they “umm and arr” (or don’t answer the phone!) then it may be time to wash your hands of them.

If you would like further information or advice regarding your property sale then please call one of our helpful agents who will be delighted to chat and offer advice. We are here to help.