Stamp duty holiday to be extended by three months

The stamp duty holiday will be extended by three months to the end of the June, The Times reports.

While it was reported that ministers would opt for a six-week extension for those already in the process of buying a house, mortgage lenders apparently told ministers this would not be long enough to stop sales falling through.

It seems likely the extension will just be for those already in the process of buying a house, or who have received a mortgage offer by a particular date.

An announcement on stamp duty will likely be made when Chancellor Rishi Sunak delivers his budget on March 3rd.

Rob Houghton, chief executive of reallymoving, said: “This policy has been critical in keeping the housing market moving through the pandemic but I would urge the government to restrict this extension to buyers already in the conveyancing process – so those who have had their offer accepted and appointed a solicitor to undertake the conveyancing work.

“This gives buyers who began their homebuying journey in good time but have been subject to delays, a new window to complete.

“While the holiday has been helpful for second steppers and those higher up the ladder, it has also caused prices to rise dramatically over the last year at the expense of first-time buyers.

“They have faced greater competition for homes, price increases and a restricted mortgage market – which led to a 12% fall in the proportion of first-time buyers in the market in the second half of 2020.

“Encouraging a new rush of buyers into the market could once again have a detrimental effect on first-time buyer share which has recovered strongly since the start of the year, back up to 58% of transactions from a low of 46% last September.”

 

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( https://www.propertywire.com/news/stamp-duty-holiday-to-be-extended-by-three-months/ )
(Seen  January 2021
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The property market will continue to run despite the government introducing new lockdown measures.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has instructed people to stay at home where possible, while schools and nonessential shops have been closed.

However viewings are still possible, while surveys are still being allowed to go ahead.

Tomer Aboody, director of property lender MT Finance, said: “Unlike the first lockdown, estate agents remain open for business and both sellers and buyers are still keen to proceed with their transactions.

“With lawyers, valuers and agents all still working, this should limit any further delays to transactions.

“It is now down to the comfort level of sellers in terms of allowing potential buyers in to view their homes and buyers feeling comfortable attending viewings. Extra caution will be taken on all sides to allow viewings to proceed.”

He added: “Our appetite to lend has not changed whatsoever. We feel the market won’t be disrupted as it was last year because there is an end in sight, thanks to the rollout of the vaccine programme.

“This, along with the fact that valuers and solicitors can still work and there is still access to properties, should provide further confidence for the housing market as a whole. Borrowers, in turn, will feel more confident that their transactions will complete.”

Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent and a former RICS residential chairman, does expect the property market to be impacted.

He said: “While the property market remains open for business, the new lockdown will have some impact on surveyors, removals firms etc and in the circumstances, it would be prudent for the Chancellor to reconsider the stamp duty deadline.

“Those who have moved heaven and earth to meet the deadline should not now be penalised if they miss it through no fault of their own.”

Paul Offley, compliance officer at The Guild of Property Professionals, said estate agents have a moral obligation to work as safely as possible, given the situation.

He said: “With the rate of infections increasing once again due to the highly contagious variant of Covid-19 making its way through the country, now more than ever agents have an obligation to continue to act within a safe manner to ensure that they are protecting the public and doing what they can to minimise the spread of the virus.

“While physical viewings may be permitted by the government, given the current circumstances and resurgence of the virus, agents should ensure that physical viewings only take place as the very last step once they have gone through much of the process with potential buyers virtually.

“In fact, I would go as far as to say that in the current situation with the increased rate of infections, agents have a moral obligation to ensure that all buyers are taken through the process of virtually viewing a property before any face-to-face appointment takes place.

“Buyers should also consider whether there is a genuine need for the appointment to take place now or consider whether the appointment could be deferred until restrictions are eased.”

Read more here:

( https://www.propertywire.com/news/property-market-staying-open-during-lockdown-first-reactions )
(Seen  January 2021
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House Move Buying a house

The government doesn’t plan to extend the stamp duty holiday, which is due to expire at the end of March.

A petition was launched, which gained 22,156 signatures at the time of writing, asking for a stamp duty holiday extension for an additional six months.

In response, the government said: “The SDLT holiday was designed to be a temporary relief to stimulate market activity and support jobs that rely on the property market.

“The government does not plan to extend this temporary relief.”

The stamp duty holiday saw the starting threshold rise from £125,000 to £500,000 from July 2020.

The government said it launched the holiday in response to a 50% fall in property transactions during the first lockdown.

The idea was to stimulate immediate momentum in the property market and to support the jobs of people whose employment relied on custom from the property industry.

However the government added: “SDLT is an important source of government revenue, raising several billion pounds each year to help pay for the essential services the government provides.”

The delays in property transactions means there’s a danger that some buyers could miss out on benefitting from the holiday if they don’t complete by the end of March.

 

Original Article: Government not planning to extend the stamp duty holiday

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( https://www.propertywire.com/news/government-not-planning-to-extend-the-stamp-duty-holiday )
(Seen  December 2020
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Eight in 10 (84%) homeowners are planning to make their property more ‘green’ in the coming year, with reducing energy bills a key motivation, new research from plumbing and heating trade supplier City Plumbing has revealed.

Last week the government extended the Green Homes Grant scheme until March 2022, giving homeowners longer to make the most of the energy efficiency home improvement vouchers.

Two-thirds (67%) of those intending to make these changes said they are already aware of the government’s Green Homes Grant. A quarter (28%) plan to use the scheme, and 7% are already making use of it.

Steve Alldritt, technical director of City Plumbing’s energy efficiency team, said: “For homeowners, making energy efficient changes saves money in the long run, reduces environmental impact and can even make a property more appealing to future buyers. It really is a ‘win-win’ situation.

“The research shows that demand for ‘green’ upgrades is high, whether it is low carbon heating, biomass boilers or heating controls. The opportunity is there for tradespeople to benefit from.

“We are supporting tradespeople who are interesting in signing up for the Green Homes Grant scheme, with impartial advice, indemnified designs, project solutions and fast quotation turnaround.”

The most popular energy efficient home improvements are loft insulation (21%), followed by cavity wall insulation (20%), solid wall insulation – internal or external (17%), under floor insulation (16%), radiators (13%) and underfloor heating (12%).

Nearly a third (31%) of homeowners think that eco improvements could make their home more comfortable for them and their family, whilst a quarter (27%) believe it would make their property more attractive to prospective buyers.

Original Article: Eight in 10 plan ‘green’ home improvements in the next 12 months

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(https://www.propertywire.com/news/eight-in-10-plan-green-home-improvements-in-the-next-12-months)
(Seen  November 2020
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Strong recovery in UK housing market, says Nationwide

UK house prices rose by 5% in September compared with a year ago, the Nationwide says, as the property market saw post-lockdown demand continue.
 
The annual rate of growth is the highest for four years, according to figures based on the Nationwide’s lending data.
 
The building society said activity had “recovered strongly” since coronavirus restrictions on viewings were lifted. But job fears ahead mean many young people have put moving plans on hold.

 

Price rises across regions

The Nationwide said that UK house prices rose by 0.9% in September compared with August.
 
In the three months from July to the end of September, UK prices were up 1.7% compared with the previous quarter and the average home cost £226,129.
 
Prices rose on a quarterly basis in most areas of the UK, the building society said.
“The rebound reflects a number of factors. Pent-up demand is coming through, with decisions taken to move before lockdown now progressing,” said Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s chief economist.
 
He said the temporary stamp duty holiday, which means no tax is levied on the first £500,000 of all property sales in England and Northern Ireland until the end of March, was “adding to momentum” by bringing purchases forward.
 
“Behavioural shifts may also be boosting activity as people reassess their housing needs and preferences as a result of life in lockdown,” Mr Gardner added.

 
However, the Nationwide has joined other commentators in warning of the medium-term impact of the pandemic on the housing market.
 
Lucy Pendleton, from independent estate agents James Pendleton said: “[House price growth] can’t continue forever, and it is very likely indeed that we won’t see a higher annual growth rate this year.”
The Nationwide’s Mr Gardner said younger people were much more likely to have put off plans than older people, reflecting concerns about job prospects, particularly as government wage support becomes less generous.
 
Potential first-time buyers have also found it difficult to secure a mortgage when they are unable to offer a large deposit, as lenders take a safety-first approach fearing defaults as finances are squeezed.

(https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-54353406?fbclid=IwAR2qd2PSzP-COGhfp5JxTM-cPeOi1PnjMkJKkFZYMbLf2nPlJxof7dOFjuI)
(Seen  September 2020
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Major new Nottingham Homes housing estate on school field given green light

A significant new housing scheme on a former school playing field in Bestwood has been given the green light by planning bosses today. It means the 131-home scheme, brought forward by Nottingham City Homes, can now go ahead. It will be made up of 86 houses, 35 flats and 10 bungalows.

The land is located between Eastglade Road and Bala Drive East, while there will be two access points from Beckhampton Road.A range of bungalows, flats and houses are proposed for land that once served the old Padstow School, which was demolished after the school closed more than a decade ago. The “affordable rent” properties will also benefit from electric vehicle charge points. There will be 72 two-bed houses, 14 three bed, 35 one bed apartments, five one bed bungalows and five three bed wheelchair accessible bungalows.

Properties are a mix of one and two storey and the proposed nine blocks of apartments would all be three-storey in height.

Not all of the land on the former playing field site will be used for houses – some is being retained as open access public space. Detailed plans for the development were approved by Nottingham City Council’s planning committee unanimously today (Wednesday, August 19). However concerns were raised about the quality of the designs. Councillor Pavlos Kotsonis represents the Lenton and Wollaton East ward for Labour, and said: “I think one of the issues is that there is a lack of variation in the design.

“When you look at the way the buildings look it is very plain, I think they could add more decoration and more interest to the buildings, so I think they could do a bit more work.” Council planning officers assured Councillor Kotsonis that more architectural detail had been agreed since the CGIs were produced, to make the buildings look less ‘plain’.

Councillor Sally Longford, who also represents Lenton and Wollaton East ward for Labour, said: “I’m really pleased to see this development coming forward, I think it’s a real positive and and it’s good-quality desperately needed social housing in what looks like a very well-built estate. I’m also glad to see solar panels on the roofs.” Councillor Longford also raised worries about the location of the bins, but was told they would be placed in designated areas.

However some concerns were raised by residents living nearby, with a petition against the development gathering 19 signatures from nearby Beckhampton Road.

After the plans were put forward, Nick Murphy, chief executive at NCH, said: “There is a real need for new social housing in the city, our waiting list of Nottingham households seeking a council house is growing and we must work to create more homes for local people.

“There has been demand for homes in Bestwood and, if given planning permission, we will transform the old playing field into safe, warm and modern homes with good open space.

“The council has promised to build or buy 1,000 homes for social rent and these 131 homes, built on their behalf by NCH, will go towards reaching that target.”

 

(https://www.nottinghampost.com/news/local-news/major-new-nottingham-city-homes-4438705)
(Seen  August 2020
)

 

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Nottingham property developer to invest £25m in Bramcote housing development

 

A Nottingham property developer is set to invest £25million in a major new housing development, just four miles from its own headquarters in Chilwell.

Peter James Homes has submitted phase one plans to Broxtowe Borough Council for the site near the Hemlock Stone in Bramcote on Coventry Lane near Nottingham. The development is designed to provide 178 new houses in a variety of sizes, styles and pricing brackets.

Simon Gardiner, Managing Director of Peter James Homes, said: “The Bramcote development is a very rural greenfield site in a lovely setting. It’s part sheltered by mature trees and, with a buffer strip around the periphery, it’s quite isolated from other dwellings so it feels very private and self-contained.”

After eight years of preparatory work to achieve the award of residential allocation for the land, the 178-house development represents the largest project Peter James Homes has ever undertaken.

He said: “The Phase One plan has been created in close collaboration with the council in order to make sure it meets the growing need for new homes in the local region without disrupting the loveliness of the local landscapes.

“We’re looking to achieve that by using local people and local subcontractors, so in terms of its location, its planning, its construction and its benefits, it really is a Nottingham development for Nottingham people.”

The first of the new homes are expected to be available to buy between December 2021 and January 2022.

 

(https://www.eastmidlandsbusinesslink.co.uk/mag/property/nottingham-property-developer-to-invest-25m-in-bramcote-housing-development/)
(Seen July 2020
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Property prices increased by 2.3% between December and January, amounting to £6,785, Rightmove’s house price index has revealed.

There have been 1.3 million buyer enquiries since the election, up 15% compared to the same period a year ago.

Meanwhile there has been a 7.4% growth in number of sales agreed year-on-year

Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent and a former RICS residential chairman, said: “Although Rightmove looks at asking rather than selling prices, they provide an important indicator of market activity, not least because this survey has been around for such a long time.

“Asking prices can be notoriously unreliable but these confirm what we have been seeing on the ground for the last month or so.

“Sellers inevitably are a little bit more optimistic at this time of year but it remains to be seen, probably by the end of January/beginning of February, whether these higher prices, much of which is driven by shortage of stock, actually turn into agreed prices and transactions.”

James Anderson, operations director of property lender MT Finance, said: “Political uncertainty has, at times, brought the housing market to an almost complete standstill and while we are early into 2020, we are starting to see demand overcoming doubt.

“We hope the early movers – often professional investors who recognise that there are great deals out there – will be met by vendors who respond with the necessary supply as we move into spring.

“And in a more settled political climate where prices are starting to rise, we fully expect them to do so. Among those who see light at the end of the tunnel, optimism is high.”

 

(https://www.propertywire.com/news/landlords-regret-investing-in-buy-to-let)
(Seen January 2020
)

 

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Landlords regret investing in buy-to-let

Landlords regret investing in buy-to-let – Over half (53%) of landlords would not have purchased their properties in the first place had they known how regulated the Private Rented Sector would become, research from property development firm Accumulate Capital has found.

Over a third (37%) of property investors plan to sell at least one of their properties this year.

Of this group, three in five (61%) blamed increasing regulations and taxes while one in five (21%) pledged to instead focus on alternative property investment, like debt and development finance.

Paul Howells, chief executive of Accumulate Capital, said: “Property investors are clearly frustrated by how much red tape there now is within the private rental sector and buy-to-let market.

“Yes, there is a need for regulatory measures to protect the interests of all parties involved in the property market, but as our research shows, some landlords feel the current system is unfairly weighted against them.

 

“What we might see as a result, is investors selling properties and downsizing their portfolios.

“Indeed, a considerable number of investors are now looking to alternative real estate investment options instead, such as development finance – these provide ways to access bricks and mortar investment opportunities without the complications or costs of actually purchasing the asset.”

Reflecting on the challenges facing landlords, nearly three quarters (72%) believe current tax and regulation measures are unfairly weighted against landlords.

Meanwhile over two thirds (69%) reckon the costs of managing their property portfolio has risen considerably in the past five years.

 

(https://www.propertywire.com/news/landlords-regret-investing-in-buy-to-let)
(Seen January 2020
)

 

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House clearance in Mansfield

Letting Agents anticipate rent increases in 2020 –  The majority (84%) of letting agents think rent prices will rise next year, up from two thirds (65%) last year, ARLA Propertymark has predicted.

More than three fifths (61%) think demand will continue to increase, but almost seven in 10 (68%) reckon the number of landlords operating in the private rented sector will decline next year, as they are driven out by rising costs.

Indeed, two thirds (68%) expect landlords’ taxes to rise again.

David Cox, chief executive, ARLA Propertymark, said: “For far too long, successive governments of all political persuasions have passed significant amounts of complex legislation for landlords.

“As a result, much of this year has dampened landlords’ appetites to invest and expand their portfolios, with many consolidating their assets, or choosing to step away from the sector altogether.

 

“This has impacted tenants most, who have restricted supply and have been faced with less choice and paying higher rents.

“Looking ahead to 2020, we hope the government recognises the importance of increasing supply for tenants and uses it as an opportunity to make the market more attractive for landlords.

“This will encourage more landlords back into the market as well as ensure that tenants, including those who are most vulnerable, are not at a disadvantage in being able to find a suitable and affordable home to rent.”

 

(https://www.propertywire.com/news/agents-anticipate-rent-increases-in-2020)
(Seen December 2019
)

 

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