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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Looking for your perfect property can be an exciting, but how many should you view before choosing your favourite and making an offer?
If the first home that you look at seems perfect, it can be tempting to keep looking around to make sure there is nothing better out there. Be wary, though. You could look for weeks and not find anything as good, and someone could put an offer on the first house in the meantime. It's better to schedule multiple viewings on the same day so you can easily compare and contrast. That way, you know you're making the right decision, even if it's the first property you looked at.
Is there a right number of properties to look at before making an offer? It's different for everyone. Some may fall in love straight away, while others can find themselves looking for a dream home that is too specific and may not exist in their price bracket. Be realistic and make compromises if you have to.
Not sure if a property you’ve seen onlineis worth a viewing? Go for it. A picture is worth a thousand words, but nothingcompares to the real look and feel of a property.
For more help and advice to find yourperfect property, contact your area’s Guild Member by clicking here.
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