After the changes to the stamp duty rates last December I just wanted to take a step back and assess what sort of impact it has had. I must admit that often after changes such as this I don’t always take the time to reflect on if it has had a positive, negative or indifferent impact and simply plough on with the day to day job. With the announcement of the new tiered system there was initial panic while people tried to work out how it affected them and where transactions were close to exchange many people tried to beat the deadline in order to make the savings.
I was sitting in Rickmansworth alongside my new homes team who had a number of high value deals on the verge of going through and unfortunately a couple of these fell through due to the increase in taxes a couple of clients were going to be hit with. The calculators got a good work out that day and where workings were coming out wrong many exclaimed “Well this isn’t going to help”. If you can picture the scene you would see a group of estate agents all coming out with different numbers and looking at each other wondering if this change was positive or negative. Once the well informed and calm members of the team came to the table the panic settled and buyers and sellers began to be called and educated.
Looking at our numbers I have concluded that around 95% of our customers have benefited from the change leaving just a small amount of unfortunate people losing out. We have had a couple of transactions above £925,000 where people have experienced an increase in their stamp duty but the majority of our sales have been in the £250,000-£750,000 bracket where buyers have saved on average £875. Every little counts and with the cost of solicitors, finance and removals, this money is well used elsewhere.
I for one have seen a real positive impact and definitely witnessed buyers come to the market who were slightly reticent before. As I have said the majority of our customers are benefiting greatly from the long overdue restructuring. Many clients we speak to are talking positively about the changes and it has certainly helped fuel the property market. First time buyers are purchasing again and although we had seen this trend increase in 2014 the stamp duty changes have kept this going and brought even more younger buyers to the ladder. With interest rates still low and good availability of attractive mortgage products all this combined means the market should remain strong for the rest of 2015.
If you are unclear on what the changes to the stamp duty structure will mean for you watch our Managing Director Alex Sewell explain in this video-
Thanks for reading the first entry of ‘Joe Blogs’ and watch this space for more updates!