Buy to let investors, first time buyers and private home owners in England and Northern Ireland will make savings from the recent revision to Stamp Duty thresholds.
The increased threshold to £250,000 – up from £125,000 – has been welcomed as a slight boost to the market. First time buyers can look forward to an increased threshold of from £300,000 to £425,000). They can also buy a property up to the value of £625,000 and still claim relief (that’s an increase from £500,000 previously). Unlike his cut to the 45 per cent higher earner’s tax rate (which has subsequently been reversed), the public did welcome this part of the new chancellor Kwasai Kwarteng’s ‘mini budget.’
Buy to let landlords still pay additional three per cent
According to its UK House Price Index report for September, rival portal Zoopla said the cuts would affect 43 per cent of properties on its site (ie the properties would be Stamp Duty-free). Although, of course, buy to let landlords and second home owners in general will still have to pay a three per cent Stamp Duty cost.
After doing some calculations Rightmove executives said around 45 per cent of the houses and flats for sale on their property portal were already exempt from Stamp Duty – even before the increased thresholds were applied.
North of England to benefit most from Stamp Duty changes
Areas where property prices are least expensive, such as the north of England, will benefit most from the cuts since they’ll make the properties more affordable. The north of the country – together with the Midlands – is already enjoying the fruits of relocation. With more jobs moving to Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham and Liverpool, there’s a bigger demand for properties in these busier cities. Buy to let investors were benefiting in particular, thanks to high yields.
Many analysts are predicting a property crash of up to 15 per cent next year as grocery price hikes and the impact of rising energy bills on household finances really take hold. Rising mortgage interest rates will add to the unaffordability of moving home.
Large variations in salary percentages for housing
One recent lender – Nationwide – pointed out that the average UK property works out at almost seven times the cost of the average take-home pay for individuals. That works out at 40 per cent per month of a salary going towards housing costs. Variations are wide though – in the city the figure is around 64 per cent (or 11 times the average take-home pay), whereas in the north of England, housing payments take up just 26 per cent (4.5 per cent) of a salary.
As the markets went in to turmoil this week, lenders withdrew hundreds of mortgage products. The result was many house sales fell through as buyers panicked over rocketing interest rates. After the chancellor’s U-turn on the higher tax earning rate, the panic began to subside and rates fell slightly. What will happen next with the economy as this new government attempts to make its mark is anyone’s guess. But one thing is for sure, it’s not going to be even sailing for some time to come.
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