Latest: October’s property market report
September was a month of disruption. With a new Prime Minister and Chancellor at the helm, changes marked the inauguration of this new partnership. First up alterations to the stamp duty thresholds.
There are three beneficial and permanent revisions to note. Contact us if you’re in the process of buying or are thinking of moving and we’ll recalculate the stamp duty due. The good news? Almost everyone will save money.
1 in 3 purchases expected to be stamp duty free
If you are purchasing for £250,000 or less, there will be zero stamp duty to pay. This is because the Chancellor raised the threshold at which stamp duty is applied. The previous threshold of £125,001 has doubled, and Rightmove reports 1 in 3 properties purchases are now stamp-duty free.
A typical £2,500 stamp duty saving now in force
Those buying properties worth more than £250,000 will also benefit, as the first £250,000 portion of a property for sale will be stamp duty free. A 5% stamp duty tax will now be applied to the portion of the property between £250,0001 and £925,000. In theory, anyone buying between £280,000 and £1 million will save £2,500 on their bill.
Higher stamp duty thresholds are unchanged. A 10% levy applies to the portion of a purchase between £925,001 and £1.5 million, and a 15% tax applies to any portion over £1.5 million. Landlords will benefit from the stamp duty cut but remain subject to an ‘additional homes’ stamp duty charge.
Property novices have their own stamp duty news to digest. What is called ‘stamp duty relief’ has been improved for first-time buyers. Previously, first-timers didn’t pay stamp duty on the first £425,000 of a property’s value, providing the home was worth less than £500,000.
September’s reform has revised the property’s value up to £625,000, with more first-timers eligible for a nil or reduced stamp duty bill. Revolution Brokers crunched the numbers to discover 91% of typical first-time buyer purchases in England will be stamp duty free, with a further 7% experiencing a reduced bill. For now, Land Transaction Tax in Wales remains unchanged.
The Chancellor’s wider package of financial reforms has caused some disturbance in the mortgage market. While headlines are scaremongering with news of disappearing deals, thousands of home loans remain. In fact, as of early October 2022, Moneyfacts had almost 3,900 mortgage deals available. Our advice is to speak with a mortgage broker to appraise your individual circumstances rather than speculate about your financial fortunes.
House prices hold firm in September
Another breaking story is house prices and the statistics point to a welcome period of stabilisation. Nationwide’s September House Price Index showed the UK’s average house price has remained unchanged month-on-month. This breaks a consecutive run of value rises that date back to March 2021. The UK’s average property price in September was £272,259.
We expect house prices to remain steady thanks to a continuing demand and supply imbalance. Our own analysis mirrors that of our industry body’s research. In September, Propertymark reported more new buyers were registering their interest than properties coming up for sale.
Sell in autumn & winter for elevated values
Encouragingly, the sales landscape is being helped along by research from GetAgent. Its statistics confirmed agents are more likely to secure the highest price for sellers in autumn and winter. To illustrate, sold prices averaged £207,761 during spring, £213,196 during summer, £215,574 during autumn and £216,541 during winter.
While house prices enter a period of equilibrium, the same can’t be said of rental values. HomeLet’s September Rental Index shows that rents continue to climb. When looking at month-on-month rises, the UK average rent in September was 1.4% more expensive than in August, costing £1,159 per month.
If you would like to know more about your local property market, please get in touch.
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