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The UK’s new property tax rules are set to provide a boost to both the sales market and buy to let market, it is claimed. The new rates will give the biggest savings to buyers at the lower and middle end of the market and according to Stephen Ludlow, chairman of lettings age Ludlow Thompson, as buy to let landlords usually invest in properties below £937,500 the changes will give almost all investors in this market a boost. ‘The changes in stamp duty will see the biggest increase in net returns for more modestly investments such as smaller properties in Zone three of London, city centre apartments, flats above shops, ex-local authority property and property in secondary locations,’ he said. ‘The reforms could encourage those who may have been delaying their purchase until after the election to reconsider. The new rates should also provide a boost to the sales market and result in an increased number of purchases in this usually quiet time for residential property deals,’ he added. Graham Davidson, managing director of Sequre Property Investment, also believes the change is a positive one for the buy to let market. For example, a buyer of a high end two bedroom Manchester city centre apartment at a price of £150,000 will now pay just £500 stamp duty, a saving of £1,000. ‘However the impacts on the £925,000 plus market will certainly be felt throughout the industry, in particular by the higher end London property market. We would expect to see this contribute to a further slowing of the market there,’ he added. Alison Platt, group chief executive of Countrywide, said the change is likely to attract more home buyers to the market. ‘So for those who are thinking of selling their property, there has never been a better time. Equally for buyers, a stable interest rate environment and the availability of a range of attractive mortgage products, means that now is an ideal time to purchase a home,’ she explained. But Jamie Lester, head of Haus Properties, thinks it send shockwaves through the London market, particularly in the £1.5 million to £2 million price range. ‘This market has been especially active with buyers sticking below the 7% stamp duty and proposed mansion tax thresholds. These buyers will now have to pay a significantly higher amount,’ he said. ‘For example, someone purchasing a £1.9 million property would have paid £95,000 under the old stamp duty rules, whereas under the reforms they will be paying almost £50,000 more at £141,750. However, those buying just above £2 million won't be quite so heavily hit, for example, someone purchasing at £2.1 million will now be paying £165,750, an increase of £18,750,’ he explained. Camilla Dell, managing partner of independent property buying agency, Black Brick, said there is no question that the old stamp duty bands were in desperate need of reform and overhaul. ‘For 98% of the UK population these changes are therefore clearly good news. But… Continue reading →
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