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Stamp Duty Holiday – How will it work?

The Chancellor Rishi Sunak has confirmed a major stamp duty cut in a bid to boost the housing market.

Speaking at the summer economic update, Sunak revealed plans to raise the stamp duty threshold from £125,000 to £500,000 in England and Northern Ireland.

The stamp duty holiday will start immediately and run until 31 March 2021.

It means that nearly nine out of 10 transactions will no longer be subject to stamp duty.

Meanwhile, the average stamp duty bill will fall by £4,500. And in London and the South East, home to more expensive properties, buyers could save up to £14,999 overnight.

What is Stamp Duty?

Buyers must pay stamp duty when buying a home or piece of land worth £125,000 or more in England and Northern Ireland. It is charged on a tiered basis (so you only pay the higher rates on the slice above any threshold – the same as income tax).

These are the rates:

  • Up to £125,000: 0%
  • On the portion from £125,001 to £250,000: 2%
  • On the portion from £250,001 to £925,000: 5%
  • On the portion from £925,000 to £1.5m: 10%
  • Above £1.5m: 12%

There are exemptions available for first time buyers who don’t have to pay stamp duty on the first £300,000, so long as the home doesn’t cost more than £500,000.

Meanwhile, people buying additional property for £40,000 or more, such as second homes, pay an extra 3% of stamp duty on top of regular stamp duty rates. The surcharge effectively works as a slab tax. In other words, the 3% loading applies to the entire purchase price of the property.

The stamp duty holiday is welcome news for buyers, estate agents and developers after the housing market was affected by the coronavirus crisis.

Sunak’s move will mean significant savings for some buyers at the lower end of the housing market in particular.

The Buy2Let Hub
Looking for buy-to-let properties for sale which offer good rental potential, plus the chance to profit from capital growth? Talk to The Buy2Let Hub. Our team of property investment agents are on hand to find the perfect house or apartment to suit your budget – with a view to developing a successful property portfolio in the future.

Buying a Property at Auction – Things to Consider When Viewing

Buying a property at auction can be a fun experience, providing you’ve prepared yourself beforehand. We’re not just talking about getting ready for the auction itself – we’re also referring to finding the right buy-to-let property for sale before you start bidding… and that involves going to view the property first.

Why Bother with Viewing?

Some investors don’t bother with a viewing before they start bidding at a property auction. However, we’d recommend against buying blind, as it could result in huge problems further down the line, not to mention additional expense.

A viewing gives you the chance to get a feel for the property; to check that there’s nothing obviously wrong with it, and to survey the surrounding area. It’s a golden opportunity to make sure that it’s the right investment for you.

House Auction – A Viewing Checklist

Here are a few things you should consider when viewing your auction property:

  • Are there any major issues? It’s a wise idea to invest in a surveyor to check the house out properly. However, there are various checks you can perform yourself. Press a hand against the walls to see if there’s any damp. Likewise, look at the ceilings and around the windows (key areas where damp often develops). Check the pressure of the flush on the toilets. Peer under the sink and bath to see if there are any leaking pipes. Don’t be afraid to have a good nose around – after all, you’ll be investing serious money here, and you want to get it right.
  • What about planning permission? If any improvements have been carried out, did the current owner get planning permission? Also, if you want to add an extension / convert the attic etc. can you get planning permission easily? It’s important to find out for certain, rather than assume.
  • What are the boundaries? Exactly how much land comes with the property, and which parts are you responsible for? Make sure there are no boundary disputes too – as this can be a major hassle to resolve in the future.
  • What’s the surrounding area like? Are the neighbouring houses in good order? Is there a train station close by, or a good local school? Can prospective tenants walk to the shops? Consider the wider picture when you’re viewing.
  • How much will it cost to improve it cosmetically? Does the property just require a lick of paint, or will it need a major cosmetic overhaul? Make sure you factor any costs into your overall budget.
  • Will it appeal to tenants? This is perhaps the most important thing of all to think about. If tenants don’t like the property, they won’t want to move in, and this will adversely affect your ROI. Approach your viewing like a tenant and ascertain what they’ll like / dislike about the house.

The Buy2Let Hub
Looking for buy-to-let properties for sale which offer good rental potential, plus the chance to profit from capital growth? Talk to The Buy2Let Hub. Our team of property investment agents are on hand to find the perfect house or apartment to suit your budget – with a view to developing a successful property portfolio in the future.