It’s been a great few weeks for the team at Property Ladder Group, viewing levels and property sales have been buoyant, and we have seen a spike in enquires following the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak announcing a temporary stamp duty holiday on the first £500,000 of all property sales until 31st March 2021.
The treasury anticipates that 90% of people moving home or moving up the property ladder will pay no land tax; the average saving will be in the region of £4,500 and is likely to generate an extra 101,000 of sales over the next nine months. The stamp duty freeze will relieve financial pressure on purchasers who can apply the savings towards an increased deposit, thus reducing monthly mortgage payments. First time buyers will breathe a sigh of relief with the introduction of 90% mortgages, as lenders respond to the government stamp duty holiday.
Rightmove reported that within half an hour of the Chancellor making the stamp duty holiday announcement, they saw a 22% spike in visitors. The portal state that 510,000 of their properties were listed under £500,000 which equates to 81% of properties listed in England. They had seen a 21% increase in new-build enquiries, and valuation enquiries were up 89% based on the same day in 2019. Homes priced between £400,000 and £500,000 have seen the biggest surge in activity, with a 49% influx in enquiries in the past week. Watford, Milton Keynes, and NW London Borough of Harrow reporting 100% increase in enquiries, closely followed by Chelmsford, Bromley and Swindon, where the average threshold asking price is £500,000.
The house building industry welcomed the news, keen to increase footfall after relying on virtual viewings during the lockdown period. House builders report a surge in appointment enquiries from first time buyers visiting developments, where demand is reported to be 46% higher than before lockdown. Consumer confidence and demand for new build homes is strong, with prospective buyers keen to take advantage of the stamp duty incentive, attractive mortgage deals, and Help to Buy assistance.
Buy to let and holiday homes will also benefit from 2nd home stamp duty changes, whereby prospective buyers can take advantage of new stamp duty rules, by only paying the additional 3% levy for purchases up to £500,000. Between £500,001 and £925,000 the rate payable will be 8%, and for properties purchased for £925,001 to £1,500,000 the rate payable will 13%. Purchases above £1.5 million will be payable at 15%. investors who purchase through limited companies will be exempt up to £500,000, typically a property costing £350,000, will save landlords £7,500, reducing their tax bill from £18,000 to £10,500.
The stamp duty announcement will further benefit the sale of probate properties, with buyers keen to capitalise on the stamp duty freeze and achieve completion before the 31st March 2021. PLG understand that it is currently taking between 12 -16 weeks to obtain Grant of Probate. The probate service was experiencing a bottleneck of applications prior to lockdown, due to restructuring plans, and during lockdown were running a skeleton service, with 80% of staff working remotely, inevitably they are catching up on their backlog. PLG are adept at selling probate property for the best possible price, and work in harmony with attorneys and legal practitioners, by first valuing and providing HMRC compliant property valuations, and subsequently overseeing the marketing, sale and Sales Progression process through to completion.
PLG are mindful of the delays in obtaining Grant of Probate and would initially suggest our Essential Extra service as part of the pre-sale preparation, including lock changes, house clearance and garden maintenance. Once ready to market, the property will be listed with 3 local proactive agents and will not be locked into a lengthy sole agency contract. The property will be listed at a competitive price, and we are confident that it will sell in a realistic time frame. Prospective buyers would be informed that the property is a probate sale, and exchange of contracts will be delayed until probate has been granted. Buyers who require a mortgage, should safeguard that their lender has provision to extend their mortgage offer, if required.
Ultimately, it’s about being prepared and providing clear, concise communication, is paramount to the service that we offer. Property Ladder Group sell properties in a timely and stress-free manner, for the best possible price, ready to exchange when probate has been granted. To find out more, give us a call today on 0330 124 7434