As of the 24th of March this year the stamp duty waiver for first time buyers purchasing their first property under the £250,000 level is ceasing. At present first time buyers do not pay any stamp duty for their first purchase under £250,000 whilst those who have previously purchased are liable for a 1% fee.
The exemption was originally introduced in a bid to increase activity in the housing market, and help first time buyers gain a foot on to the property ladder. However the government have said the scheme has had a limited effect in achieving this and are putting an end to the incentive.
This means that buyers who still wish to use the scheme to get a foot on the property ladder need to complete on a purchase no later than March 23rd 2012. At Sewell & Gardner we find the average house sale takes between 6 – 8 weeks to go from an agreed sale through to completion. So prospective buyers would need to secure a purchase in the next few weeks to be in before the cut off.
At the moment we have a few properties, which would be great for first time buyers:
- 1 Bedroom Apartment in Thompson Way/ Rickmansworth on the market for £160,000.
- 2 Bedroom Apartment in St Peters Way/ Rickmansworth on the market for £192,950.
- 2 Bedroom House in Chenies Way/ Watford on the market at £229,950.
- 2 Bedroom House in Home Way/ Rickmansworth on the market at £244,950.
Let me know if you would like any further details or would be interested in arranging a viewing. We can also help with finance, although some people feel the 1% saving on stamp duty is not substantial, it is my opinion that any saving is worth having and is particularly useful in the present market where mortgage lenders have tightened their requirements. They often demand increased deposits to give themselves more security should someone default on their payments. But it is not all doom and gloom, I discussed current mortgage rates, with Mathew Coulson from Heron Financial this weekend and although finance is harder than a few years ago there are still some great deals out there. A few examples are below:
- 100% deal guaranteed by family with an interest rate fixed for 3 years at 6.48%
- 90% deal with free valuation and £250 cash back with interest rate of 4.99%. This is a 2 year tracker.
- 80% deal discounted at 2.85% for 2 years.
- 75% deal with no penalties or tie-ins tracking at 2.59% for one year.
Now you are aware of the changes being made and some of the mortgage products available, hopefully you are now eager to start the hunt for your dream property. All the best with the search, and please do not hesitate to let us know if Sewell & Gardner can help in anyway.