The Chancellor has announced that stamp duty is to be abolished for all first time buyers on properties bought up to £300,000, effective from today. In addition, first time buyers purchasing properties up to £500,000 will pay no stamp duty on the first £300,000.
In his Budget, Philip Hammond announced that 80% of first time buyers would pay no stamp duty at all. With 358,000 first time buyers in the last year, this means that at least 24% of all sales in the UK’s housing market are set to be charged 0% tax. Once other exempt sales under £125,000 are taken into account, this figure will be even higher.
Two thirds of properties bought so far this year across the country have been under the new threshold but there are large regional variations. In Wales and the North East, over 90% of sales in the last year have been over £300,000 while just 17% of sales in London were for less than £300,000.
While good news for first-time buyers, this will further squeeze investors in the sub-£500,000 market who are already suffering from increased taxes. What's more, it does not, give any encouragement to owners higher up the chain to downsize.
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Without a crystal ball, how can you possibly know where an up-and-coming area might be? Finding a location that is on the cusp of a boom is not just about finding the trendiest spot in town; the right location which could make a property a much stronger investment for the future.
Local estate agents have in-depth knowledge of the local area and are the perfect people to guide your property search. However, there are several pointers to help you spot the next best thing:
When people have a greater disposable income, there tends to be a larger number of independent retailers. Keep your eyes peeled for new boutiques, delicatessen or niche food chains. Bear in mind that for bigger stores there is a significant volume of market research conducted before the expensive of opening a new store is considered – use this as a steer in your search.
Anywhere within a five-mile radius of good transport links has a lot of potential. Many will already be popular and therefore expensive, but taking a closer look at the map could pay off. While this approach may mean going a little further down the train line, you should consider this as a tactical, and practical move.
The age within a local area can be a good indicator of future desirability. With young professionals in their twenties and thirties in abundance, there tends to be a subsequent influx of retailers and businesses to accommodate.
Days on Market
If a property is selling fast, it can only be a good sign! Take a moment to investigate how long properties in your search area are taking to sell, if it is a long time it would suggest the market is not working its way up to fever pitch in the near future.
As well as what is already in close proximity, it is also worth investigating whether there are any future development plans, such as new transport links or schools. New build developments are another tell-tale sign that the area is worth investing in.
To make the absolute most of your search and get the detailed knowledge you require, find your local Guild estate agent.
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