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Lockdown Update for Sellers and Buyers in Devon

In this two-minute read, we look at what the announcement on Saturday by Prime Minister Boris Johnson means to home sellers and buyers in Crediton and surrounding areas.

On Saturday we received confirmation England will go into lockdown from Thursday, November 5 until at least December 2.

So, how will this affect people in the process of moving or thinking about selling in mid Devon?

Well, firstly it’s good news from a property moving perspective because the Housing Minister Robert Jenrick confirmed in a tweet on Saturday evening that the market was still very much open for business.

QUESTION:

‘Can I still move home?’

ANSWER:

Absolutely Yes – the housing market will remain open throughout this period. Everyone should continue to play their part in reducing the spread of the virus by following the current guidance.

The Minister’s tweet linked to an information guide about the new lockdown which you can find at the bottom of this article.

At Helmores we continue to work hard for our sellers and buyers in a Covid-19 secure way, while strictly following the regulations laid out by the Government.

Yes!

We offer virtual tours and carry out video valuations.  Most of our properties already have interactive digital tours.

We will still conduct safety first viewings using PPE, hand sanitisers and social distancing.

We will continue to progress all current and new sales as per usual.

And we will keep everyone we work with updated about any changes that may happen.

Here for YOU

We appreciate this is an anxious time for many of our clients and that’s why we want you to contact us if you have any questions, concerns or need to get a better understanding of what’s happening.

As we were in the first lockdown, we are 100 per cent committed and focussed on doing the right things for our clients, our colleagues, and our community.

Thanks for reading.

PS: Here’s the Government article:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-national-restrictions-from-5-november

Copyright: Helmores

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Fears for the Welfare of Devon’s Pandemic Puppies

In this three-minute read, we look at fears the UK is heading for an animal welfare crisis this winter.

Demand for puppies skyrocketed during lockdown, but with furlough ending later this month and the economy struggling, is the reality of pet ownership about to bite? 

Earlier this year, demand for puppies skyrocketed, with Google searches for “Puppies near me” increasing more than six times (by 650%) between January and July.

As a result, the price of popular breeds such Dachshunds, English Bulldogs, French Bulldogs, Pugs and Chow Chows shot up.

The asking price for a Dachshund, for example, increased from £973 in March to £1,838 in June (figures from The Dogs Trust).

But what happens when the novelty of owning a puppy wears off? The RSPCAThe Dogs Trust and The Kennel Club have all raised concerns about the number of people who bought four-legged friends on a whim during the lockdown. 

They fear a surge in the number of dogs dumped or abandoned as people struggle to pay for pet food and vet bills or exercise their pooch every day.

The Kennel Club’s Head of Health and Welfare Bill Lambert says: “We have concerns about those puppies which may have been bought on impulse, without owners doing their homework on how or where to get a dog responsibly, or fully realising a puppy is a new family member for life, not a short-term commodity.

These hasty decisions not only play into the hands of the opportunistic scammers and puppy farmers operating during the pandemic – but can also sadly result in puppies being rehomed if owners haven’t carefully considered how their dog will fit their ‘normal’ life.”

Due to this growing concern, the RSPCA has renamed October “Adoptober” (see what they did there?). The campaign urges people who are determined to get a dog to adopt, instead of buy.

By adopting a rescue dog, you will be giving an animal in need a loving home. You will also be able to rest easy in the knowledge that you haven’t fuelled the activities of overseas puppy farmers, who illegally smuggle dogs into the UK and sell them on the internet.

These dogs often have serious health and emotional problems as they are often kept in unhygienic conditions, are in poor health and are removed from their mothers too soon.

Dog welfare expert Dr Samantha Gaines says: “The message here is simple: do lots of research to help find the right pet for your family and don’t impulse buy.”

And if adoption isn’t for you, there are, of course, other ways you can do your bit for the canine community. Many animal charities are looking for people to foster dogs, providing pooches with a temporary residence until they find their “forever home”. 

Or you could consider volunteering your services as a dog walker to various charities around the country. Check out the work of the Cinnamon Trust and The Underdog.

We’d love to see your dog, whether it’s a rescue, fostered, owned, or adopted, so feel free to share photos of your four-legged companion with us here at Helmores

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Is Your Home in Crediton Gas Safe?

Here’s a question for you – When was the last time you had your gas appliances checked?

If it’s been over 12 months, you need to act now and get them checked by a qualified gas engineer.

Next Monday (14th) sees the tenth annual Gas Safety Week begin. The awareness campaign is timed to get people thinking about and checking their gas appliances as the autumn starts to take hold.

Gas Safety Week’s goal is to raise awareness among homeowners about the crucial importance of having their gas appliances serviced every year.

Gas Safety Week reminds people of the dangers of poorly maintained gas appliances, which can lead to gas leaks, fires, and carbon monoxide poisoning. All of which can kill.

Here are four simple steps you can do to keep you and your family gas safe.

1)            Have your gas appliances checked every 12 months.

2)            Verify that any engineer you employ is Gas Safe registered (previously called CORGI). Gas Safe engineers work to a set standard and are tested regularly.

3)            Check your engineer’s Gas Safe ID card. Any engineer worthy of employing will have no issue showing you this, and you can verify it online with the Gas Safe Register.

4)            Install an audible carbon monoxide alarm and test it regularly – this is a potential lifesaver.

When it comes to anything gas related in your home, it’s always wise to think ‘if in doubt get it checked out’.

How safe is Crediton?

You can find out by checking the Gas Safe Register website which has a map showing all the dangerous gas appliances that have been found in Crediton!! To check it out, visit https://www.staygassafe.co.uk/

The demand for gas safety and heating engineers surges in October and November as boilers and heaters start firing up after the summer lull.

So, with that in mind, it’s worth book your home’s appointment with a Gas Safe registered engineer in advance and beat the rush and possible delays.

If you think this article will be helpful to someone you know, why not tag them in the comments or share it with them?

Thanks for reading!

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Crediton Millennials Moving Back in with Mum & Dad?

Roll the clock back 20 years and any self-respecting late 20/early 30 something would never say on their first date that they lived with their mum and dad. It was seen as a sign of immaturity being tied to your mother’s apron strings with as a failure to leave the family home. Yet over these last two decades, the age of leaving home has been increasing steadily from 20 years and 11 months in the late 1990’s to 22 years and 7 months today.

However, as with all the stats, the devil is in the detail. Although the age of leaving home has only risen by 8% between 1997 and today, those that didn’t leave home in their early 20’s tended to stay much, much longer.

In 1997, 11.26% of 25yo to 34yo still lived at home with their parents,yet last year that had risen to 15.74%, an increase of 391,000  ‘stay at home’ Millennials

However, before we deride these Millennials for still being tied to their mother’s apron strings, I would say those very same Millennials (the mid 20’s to 30-year olds) have been pragmatic, being attracted to sacrificing independence in order to achieve their long-term life goals as they have seen rents rise and an inability to save for the mortgage deposit. All of this has seen the first-time buyer levels in this millennial age range rise for the last three years … so good news for everyone!

However, is all that about to change?

Just as mum and dads in Crediton had thought their late 20 something/early 30 something offspring had flown the nest, Covid-19 has blown some Crediton ‘chickadees’ back into the nest. Back in March, the lockdown saw many Millennials flee the big UK cities, with their constrained and poky shared HMO’s and flat shares, swapping their city centre private rented home for their parents’ Crediton home.

Yet with lockdown lessening, it isn’t just remote workers who are unenthusiastic and disinclined to return to the big cities (fearful of a second lockdown) – many of these Coronavirus blow-ins are deciding to stay put too! A recent YouGov poll asked Millennials of private rented homes what their plans were and 1 in 6 tenants planned to hand their notice in on their rented home and fly back to the nest of mum and dad. The advantages are quite plain, especially as it could enable them to save for a deposit to buy their future home.

There are 3,489 households in Crediton, made up of 1,157 single person households and 2,170 family households (the remainder being made up of shared houses etc.)

Yet how many of those Crediton family households had non-dependent children before Covid-19?

296 Crediton households have children that haven’t flown the nest

That’s 13.6% of Crediton families whose kids are still to leave home … and it’s only going to get worse!

So, what does this mean for Crediton homeowners and Crediton landlords?

It will mean that Crediton parents and their children will get to know each other better, build stronger relationships and it will enable their children, if they are wise, to save for their deposit for their first home purchase – who knows maybe in Crediton, as working from home could become the norm.

Also, with remote working, many tenants are looking for properties with bigger gardens which could translate into greater demand for property with bigger gardens? It will also change the property needs of those Crediton parents and potentially could mean instead of those parents moving down market, they could end up staying longer or moving up market?

Now of course these polls could be a load of hot air. What I do know is that this thing has not played out yet and only time will tell if this will make a concrete change to the way people live, rent and buy property.

These are interesting times and thank you for reading this. Do let me know your thoughts on this matter!

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7 Ideas to Soothe Back to School Worries in Crediton

The lockdown and ongoing fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic have been tough for everyone. But it’s been especially hard for school-aged children.

They’ve gone months without seeing a lot of their friends, have had their routine turned upside down and now face new worries as the schools head back in September.

It’s going to be a challenging time for parents and kids, but these seven ideas from the University of Calgary in Canada can help ease any Covid-19 concerns that going back to school may bring.

1. Be Honest and Open

Don’t gloss over the facts and be truthful about what children can expect when they go to school, which will look and feel very different to life before lockdown. For younger kids, talk to them about changes in their classroom, how some activities will be postponed until things return to normal and make them aware that some familiar people may be wearing unfamiliar face masks. Ask older children if they have any concerns or want to talk about the return to school.

2. Make Them Feel in Control

It’s empowering for children to feel they can control certain things, especially during an uncertain time like this. Emphasise things they can do to fight the spread of the illness like listening to instructions, practising required social distancing and probably the best and easiest one to remember – getting into the habit of washing their hands.

3. Name It to Tame It

According to the University’s report, it helps children to recognise and even name their fears. Speaking about ‘the Worry Monster’ or for older children, labelling their worried feelings as anxiety can help them articulate what’s on their minds. According to child clinicians, naming the fears goes a long way to coping with them.

4. Listen Up

Put down your phone and listen intently if your child comes to you with concerns. By giving them attention, and showing you understand and are with them every step of the way helps reassure them that things will be ok. Children look towards adults for how to behave in certain situations so think about how you are reacting and be kind to yourselves because it’s ok for you to have nerves and worries too.

5. Role-Play

Play is a big part of the way we learn. So, why not try certain role-playing situations which your child has identified as worrying them. By playing out situations and finding solutions to problems in a safe environment, it will help them be better equipped for real-life scenarios.

6. Promote the Positives

Children have missed out on a lot of things because of Covid-19. But now they have some brighter times on the horizon. Ask them what they are most looking forward to? Who or what they have missed the most? And once they’ve returned to school, ask them what the best thing that happened during the day was?

7. Routines Reap Rewards

Of all the tips featured in this article, the authors of the University of Calgary report said that establishing a back-to-school routine is perhaps the most vital. You can build up a sense of calm and control in your children by having routine around meals and setting regular times for going to bed and waking up. Ideally, start this at least a week before the schools return.

At Helmores, we see our role in the community we serve as being about more than helping people move and find homes. That’s why we often publish articles which have nothing to do with estate agency but everything to do with offering help and advice to the people, young and old, of Crediton. Thanks for reading 🙂

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Huge Planning Permission Rule Changes for Crediton

So, how will this affect the 9,728 Crediton Property Owners?

The 1st July 1948 heralded a new dawn in how property was built, as the Town & Country Planning Act 1947 came into force, meaning no property could be built without the say so of the local authority. Now, Boris Johnson has announced a substantial change to that, by in effect, ending planning permission.

The decision of what gets built (and what doesn’t) will be removed from Mid Devon District Council and replaced by Westminster governed ‘Zoning Commissions’. The anticipated reform will give presumptive building rights to any piece of land outside areas of outstanding natural beauty, green belt and national parks, although in the press release there was mention of protection for the countryside.

Travel to Europe and its common to see out of place haphazard development of new households or commercial buildings, surrounded by open countryside…so let’s hope these new regulations protect us against that.

The principles of the planning rule changes are a departure away from looking at each planning application as a standalone application to a ‘zone-system’ of planning. Land will be divided into three classes: 1st for growth, 2nd for protection and 3rd for renewal. Anyone applying for planning permission to develop homes, offices and shops on land zoned for growth, will automatically be granted planning permission; whilst land zoned for renewal planning permission will be granted in principle while Government officers perform checks. Local authorities have until 2024 to designate areas for the three classes and once agreed, planning departments will have little or no say over individual applications that fit the rules.

Interestingly, these changes come on top of new planning regulations coming into force this September which gives implied rights to demolish any office building and replace with a block of flats, and the right to build extra floors/storeys on your home.

The Housing Secretary has specified the motive behind the changes to the planning system is not to make planning permissions easier to get (although 88% per cent of planning applications are approved by local authority’s already). Instead, they have been done to make the planning process quicker, less expensive and less likely to be held up by special ‘interest’ groups.

93% of planning permissions in Mid Devon District Council were approved last year (compared to the national average of 88%)

Noteworthy, the planning rules were changed in 2016 to turn disused shops and office space into residential homes (called ‘permitted development’ rights), yet these new regulations about to be announced by Boris will take that right even further.  This is important because in 2019, there were 241,340 new households created in the country, yet 29,260 of those households came from turning disused shops and office space into residential homes (i.e. the planning permission rule changes made in 2016).

An RICS report in 2018 showed a massive difference between the conversion of office blocks with planning permission and those without (i.e. permitted development). What was interesting is that only 1 in 5 properties met the national space standards, a non-legally binding suggestion on the minimum size of home, minimum dimensions of bedrooms, natural light, storage & floor to ceiling height, whilst 3 in 4 of office block conversions that did obtain planning permission met the standard.

So, what does this all mean to Crediton homeowners and Crediton landlords? If you have been reading my articles you will know that one of the most important factors holding back the Crediton property market is the lack of new properties being constructed and when they are, the lack of infrastructure surrounding them.

Since 1995, only 732 properties have been built in the postcode sector of EX17

Yet, these new planning changes will also introduce a new method of taking a lot more money off landowners and builders, as the Government will take a larger share of uplift in land value (i.e. the increase in value from farmland to building land) to finance infrastructure around the development.  This would mean new housing developments would come with upgraded roads, GP surgeries, primary schools and shops that these new communities need to be viable. Also, communities will be asked to decide on their own standards on style and design for new developments in their area, allowing residents a greater say on the development in their locality.

Like all things, the devil is in the detail. All of us in Crediton cannot deny that we need to build more homes to keep up with the ever-growing population and the fact that people are living longer. This new planning system should lead to more housebuilding, which in turn would increase the supply of property for those trying to get on the property ladder. Also, in the proposed legislation is the new ‘First Homes’ scheme, which would allow key workers, first time buyers and people who live or work in the Crediton area to purchase their new home at 30% less than its market value and when they come to sell it, that 30% discount would be passed on to the new buyer (if they also met the criteria).

With regard to what can be built and where, Crediton people will have a say upfront (i.e. between now and 2024 when the zoning rules are drawn up) but once the zoning has been established hopefully we can construct the Crediton homes we are proud of for our children and for Crediton generations to come. 

Please do let me have your thoughts on this matter in the comments section below.

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How to Find the Right Property Solicitor

When you are selling a home, you have two crucial decisions to make.

Firstly, choosing the right estate agent to sell your home is often the difference between getting a good deal or ending up with no deal.

Secondly, selecting the right conveyancing solicitor will no doubt make your life easier and less stressful. Picking a bad one often leads to headaches, hassle and having to chase them up continually.

We’ve learned a thing or six about what to look out for when it comes to choosing a legal eagle over a tired turkey or a grumpy goose. Conveyancing is legalese for transferring the ownership of property, whether you are buying or selling.

What Is a Conveyancing Solicitor, and What Do They Do?

A conveyancer, or sometimes known more simply as a property solicitor, does the following for you:

  • They will handle the contracts.
  • Be on hand to give legal advice.
  • Carry out local council searches.
  • Deal with the Land Registry.
  • Transfer the funds to pay for your property.

They have a significant and vital part to play when it comes to getting your sale or purchase across the finish line. We realise the importance of their role, and that’s why we’ve come up with the six things to look out for when it comes to choosing a conveyancer or a property solicitor.

Six Top Tips

Recommendations
Ask your family and friends who they have used and would they recommend them.

Communication is key
Some solicitors are notoriously tricky to get hold of and can take days/weeks to respond to your questions. Before instructing any solicitor, it’s worth asking if they have a system in place where you can view/check on the progress of your sale or purchase? And what is the minimum timeframe within which they promise to get back to you?

Do they embrace technology?
This is an excellent question to ask as some solicitors do not hold technology in high esteem, which can cause problems along the line.

Holidays
Don’t get us wrong, everyone needs a holiday, but it’s not unreasonable for you to ask if a solicitor is going on holiday during the period when you are looking to buy or sell. The last thing you want is to be nearing the exchange of contracts to seal the transaction only to find out your solicitor is away and no one else has been left to work on your sale or purchase. If they are going away ensure that someone else is overseeing your file during that period so that matters don’t come to a grinding half for a fortnight.

Do your research
Make sure your chosen property specialist is a member of the Law Society of England and Wales/Law Society of Scotland and a member of the Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme. Conveyancers must be members of the Council for Licensed Conveyancers.

Ask us
We’ve worked with hundreds of different conveyancing solicitors over the years. And we’ve experienced a real mix of the good, bad and the ugly (not that we are saying they’re unattractive cowboys or girls). Feel free to give us a call, and we’d be happy to provide you with recommendations and more insight into why choosing the right solicitor or conveyancer will make your life easier and raise your chances of property success.

There are plenty of great solicitors and conveyancers out there, you just need to do your homework to find them.

Thanks for reading and get in touch or leave a comment below if you want answers to any of your property-related questions.

And remember we’re here to help!

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Every Crediton Homeowner & Landlord to Receive up to £5,000 Grant for Roof Insulation & Double Glazing from September

future green energy

The Chancellor announced on Wednesday 8th July in his mini Budget some interesting news for homeowners and landlords across the UK. Rishi Sunak is going to give ‘The Green Homes Grant’ of up to £5,000 to cover two-thirds of the costs of environmentally friendly upgrades to your property, with the homeowner covering the other third. There are also enhanced grants of £10,000 for the poorest households where 100% of the cost will be met by the Government.

This is nothing new mind you. The coalition Government in 2013 announced The Green Deal. That deal was in theory to have been a help for the builders, energy saving and home improvement industry, as the Government hoped many would take up environmentally friendly improvements to save energy (and ultimately greenhouse gases). Yet by the time it was brought to an end two years later only 14,000 households had applied, costing the taxpayer £238m (or £17,000 per household). That doesn’t sound good value to me – yet who am I to comment?!

Anyway, let’s not be negative, as improving our homes makes sense – after all, research shows Brits have the draughtiest homes in Europe. A recent survey suggests UK homes “leak” heat up to three times more quickly than more energy-efficient homes on the continent.

Data from 80,000 smart thermostats across the EU were reviewed to measure how quickly a home at 20°C inside cooled once the heating was turned off (when the outside temperature was 0°C). Within 5 hours, the average British home dropped by 3°C, the French came in second at 2.5°C yet the Germans came in at just 1°C, meaning British homes clearly need more heating (i.e. greenhouse gases) to keep them warmer.

The chancellor has allotted £2bn to the scheme, which pays for two thirds of the cost of the upgrade and stated that more than 650,000 homes would be upgraded. This could save those households a total of £195m a year in heating bills (or the equivalent of £300 a year per household), cutting greenhouse gases and saving jobs in the construction industry. The grant can be applied for from September and is open to Crediton homeowners and private sector Crediton landlords. Applications must be made before March 2021 and the Treasury have stated about half of the fund would go to households with the lowest incomes (how low is still to be announced), with an enhanced grant of up to £10,000, saving them up to £600 per annum each on their heating bills.

The average Crediton home annually produces 5.011 tonnes of CO2, compared to the national average of 4.101 tonnes

Due to the particular individual nature of the properties in Crediton and their construction type, with suitable improvements in insulation, double glazing and draught proofing, Government statistics state that this could be reduced to 2.748 tonnes for Crediton homes if suitable work (as per the Green Homes Grant) was carried out.

Why is this important? Well UK householders spend £34.735bn a year on their electric and gas bills – this is a lot of money. In fact, looking specifically at Crediton properties …

Crediton householders spend £814.40 per year on  heating their homes (compared to the national average of £669.34 per year)

Yet, if Crediton householders carried out the energy improvements that ‘The Green Homes Grant’ suggests their energy bills for heating alone would reduce to £570.26 per year … quite a saving over a decade and beyond (enough to buy a decent holiday – whatever one of those is!).

So, with Crediton homeowners and Crediton landlords being able to spend the grant on loft, floor and wall insulation, low carbon gas boilers, heat pumps, double or even triple-glazed windows, energy-efficient doors and low energy lighting … everyone should win – the environment, the economy and household budgets. More details on the scheme should be released by the Government in August. We’ll keep you posted on any updates!

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Crediton Home Buyers & Landlords Set to Save £580,970 in Stamp Duty Over Next Nine Months

The British are infatuated with owning their own property and politicians know that. Margaret Thatcher used it as a vote winner in 1979 when she allowed council house tenants to buy their own home. Coming to the present day, Boris Johnson’s Conservative government have anxieties that the Brits have not been buying nearly enough homes lately and, as with all countries in the world, the British property market was put ‘on ice’ for several months to help contain the Coronavirus, exacerbating the problem.

The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, announced on Wednesday plans to boost the property market by momentarily scrapping Stamp Duty Tax (a tax paid by homebuyers) when they buy a property that costs less than £500,000.

Interestingly, Stamp Duty was originally introduced in 1694 as a way to raise funds for The Nine Years’ War (1688–1697) against Louis XIV of France and applied to property and some legal documents.

Why is this important? Well the Government recognise that when the property market is working well, the economy also tends to work well, yet one of the barriers to people moving home is Stamp Duty. Even before Coronavirus, Brits were moving 40.21% less than they were at the start of the millennium, and now with this dreadful situation, the natural reaction is for people to stay put in their own homes, meaning another potential nail in the coffin for the economy.

Stamp Duty has raised not an insignificant £166.53bn since 1998, impressive when you consider the NHS costs £129bn per annum. Looking at more recent figures, the Government currently raise £1.045bn per month from Stamp Duty Tax and this statement will remove a good chunk of that from the Chancellors coffers each month, yet the Government knows a healthy property market will help the wider economy.

As Stamp Duty is a transaction tax, it restricts labour market mobility, making people who are thinking of switching jobs think twice before moving. Stamp Duty also holds back elderly homeowners from downsizing to smaller homes, which is an issue for the UK, as we don’t have enough homes to meet supply and also curtails first time buyers as it forces them to use some of the savings on the tax, as opposed to using for a deposit.

Before the changes, the Stamp Duty thresholds were as follows: 

  • Zero percent up to £125,000
  • Two percent of the next £125,000 (the portion from £125,001 to £250,000)
  • Five percent of the next £675,000 (the portion from £250,001 to £925,000)
  • Ten percent of the next £575,000 (the portion from £925,001 to £1.5 million)
  • 12% of the remaining amount (the portion above £1.5 million)

and between the 8th July 2020 and 31st March 2021 the thresholds are:

  • Zero percent up to £500,000
  • Five percent of the next £425,000 (the portion from £500,001 to £925,000)
  • Ten percent of the next £575,000 (the portion from £925,001 to £1.5 million)
  • 12% of the remaining amount (the portion above £1.5 million)

Landlords and buy to let landlords will also benefit from these reduced rates yet will still have to pay their additional premium for second homes (as they have since April 2016).

To give you an idea how significant this is, if these rules had been in place exactly a year ago for Crediton properties purchased under £500,000 (i.e. between the 8th July 2019 and 31st March 2020).

Stamp Duty would not have been paid on 210 Crediton properties, worth in total £53,620,300

Anyone buying any home in Crediton over £500,000 are also winners in this, as they will save having to pay the first £15,000 in stamp duty (under the old scheme). This is because during these 9 months, stamp duty is only paid on the difference over £500,000 (so if you buy a property for say £620,000 – one only pays the stamp duty on the difference between £620,000 and £500,000 i.e. £120,000).

I’m all for reducing Stamp Duty, which is imposed progressively at higher rates the higher a property costs (as you can see from the tables above). Yet, short-lived changes to property taxation risk warping the property market and generating a ‘property market hangover’ in Spring 2021. I am part of a group of 2,500 estate and letting agents from the UK, and most of us were running at 150% speed before this announcement, coping with the post Coronavirus explosion in demand.

Now it seems that the ‘feast’ will continue until the end of March 2021 as many more people will move to take advantage of the cut in tax. However, some are suggesting this could lead to ‘famine’ down the line as it will stop people moving into the late spring and summer of 2021.

History tells us different stories on the influence on transaction volumes from changing Stamp Duty rates. In 1991 the Tory’s raised the Stamp Duty threshold at which house buyers started paying and Gordon Brown did so in 2008 when we went into the Credit Crunch. More recently, both George Osborne and Philip Hammond fine-tuned Stamp Duty so that landlords had to pay an additional Stamp Duty Premium after March 2016 whilst first-time buyers pay less Stamp Duty and the purchasers of more expensive homes (over £1.5m) pay more.

The Stamp Duty changes for landlords in 2016 affected the property market only for a short while and by the autumn, transactions levels had returned to normal. However, in 1991, John Major’s Stamp Duty change encouraged home buyers to bring forward home purchases but nevertheless the property market ground to a standstill again once the benefit ended (although the steps up the 1990’s Stamp Duty levels were much harsher as the tax applied to the whole purchase price, not the margin steps as it had in the 1990’s).

So how much money will Crediton people save when buying a home under £500k?

The average Stamp Duty paid by those Crediton home buyers in the 9 months between the 8th July 2019 and 31st March 2020 was £2,767.

Being objective, I can see why the Chancellor could see this as a suitable way to motivate spending because when people move home, they are more inclined to spend comprehensively on property renovations and the services of solicitors, home removal people, tradesmen and estate agents. So, drastically reducing Stamp Duty will undoubtedly help the UK economy, or at least contain some of the damage from the Coronavirus.  

Also, the experience of being in lockdown will have confirmed to many Crediton people that they need a bigger home or one with a bigger garden. I also suspect other people may be able to work from home on a more long-lasting basis, meaning there could be a shift from the larger cities to outlying towns and even a move to the countryside.

So, these are my thoughts, what are yours? I’d love you to post them in the comments below! 🙂

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We’re All Going On A Stamp Duty Holiday!

Confused about the new Stamp Duty holiday announcement? Check out our simplified 2 minute guide!

What is Stamp Duty?

Stamp duty is simply a tax paid by people buying properties. The amount of tax is based upon the purchase price of the property. In England and Northern Ireland buyers pay Stamp Duty, and there there are different schemes for Scotland and Wales.

The amount of tax you pay depends on the purchase price of the property and whether you are buying it as your main home, or an additional property, buy-to-let etc.

What’s Changed?

The Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced changes to Stamp Duty on 8th July meaning any buyer purchasing a primary residential property will pay no stamp duty on the first £500,000. This means the most property buyers will benefit from some whopping savings!

So, getting down to the nitty gritty of it: on a property purchase over the £500,000 threshold, buyers will pay a 5% Stamp Duty but only on the portion from £500,001 to £925,000. Then it’s 10% on the portion from £925,001 to £1.5 million and 12% on any portion over £1.5 million.

Some Examples

If you are buying your main home for £500,000 you would have paid £15,000 in Stamp Duty. Now you pay nothing.

If you are buying your main home for £750,000 you would have paid £27,500. Now you pay £12,500.

Second homes

There’s been a lot of confusion about purchasing a second home but we can confirm that there are large savings to be made here too. The higher additional rates remain, with a 3% higher rate on top of the new revised rates.

So, if you are purchasing a holiday home up to the threshold value of £500,000, you will pay 3% Stamp Duty.  If it’s over the threshold of £500,000 you’ll pay 8% on the portion from £500,001 to £925,000, 13% on the portion from £925,001 to £1.5 million, and 15% on the remaining portion over £1.5 million.

Visit gov.uk for more information

Why have the Government made these changes?

This move by the Government will keep the post lock-down property market momentum going strong and help the broader economy.

This is because when people move, they often spend thousands of pounds doing up their new home to suit their lifestyle and tastes. Think about it: when you move home, you often spend money on new carpets, curtains, kitchen units, and even new furnishings etc.

So when does all this end?

From 1 April 2021, the Stamp Duty holiday ends and the old regulations will revert to what they were before these temporary changes were announced, unless the Government decide otherwise, of course. We can live in hope!

Our thoughts on it all

The change means now is a great time to put your property on the market as we’re expecting a surge of buyers looking to make their move while they can save a large chunk of hard earned cash.

We’re primed and ready to take your calls and answer any questions you have around the new Stamp Duty changes. So, if you are thinking of buying or selling in 2020 the time’s never been better thanks to this news!