Posted on

7 Tips for Making the Most of Your Living Space

Living space

When it comes to your home space, there will no doubt be times when you wish there was a bit more of it. If things are feeling a bit cramped, then you may be tempted to take a page out of Marie Kondo’s book and start throwing things out. However, there are ways to use your living space that allow you to keep your personal things while still making the most of the space you have.

Here are a few things to try in your home.

Choose the Right Furniture – And Use Multifunctional Pieces

Furniture that’s too large for a space will soon dominate it and make the room feel smaller by comparison. Switching to slightly smaller sizes, for example, from a king to a double bed, may only give you a few extra inches, but the room will immediately feel bigger. Swap large bookshelves for fitted shelves and consider using clothes rails instead of wardrobes for a contemporary look. Stools can also work well in the living room, instead of oversized armchairs. Another thing to look out for is multifunctional furniture that can be used for more than one purpose. For instance, sofas that fold into beds, or coffee tables that can be raised and used for dining. This will mean you have less furniture in each room.

Think Vertically

If you want a room to look bigger, you need to draw the eye upwards and avoid using furniture that takes up too much floor space. Choose long, thin bookcases or build shelves close to the ceiling to make your room feel bigger and brighter. Get rid of bulky TV units and mount your television on the wall; as long as the wires are well hidden, it’ll look so much better. Also, avoid any pieces of furniture that are short and horizontal, like cabinets. Another bold move is to use vertical stripes to instantly make it look like you have those covetable high ceilings. Just a subtle stripe in neutrally coloured wallpaper can make a big difference.

Plan Your Layout Carefully

Draw a rough sketch of your room’s shape and then plan where you’ll put the furniture to maximise space. It can be easier to plan on paper than it is to spend hours moving things around. If you’re buying new furniture, look for pieces that complement the space nicely and work with the flow.

Keep It Light

If a room is already small, the worst thing you can do is block out the natural light with a set of dark curtains.  Stick to blinds, which will leave your windowsill free for a few photos for a contemporary look. If you absolutely must have curtains and hate living without them, then choose a neutral colour and have them properly fitted, so they don’t trail on the ground.

Keep It Neutral, but with Statement Pieces

It’s important not to make your room too beige when you’re trying to make the space look bigger. If it looks too cold and sterile, then it’s simply not going to be an enjoyable space. Instead, you should opt for neutral tones, with lots of textures for a luxe feel, then add a couple of statement pieces that focus the eye. For example, a bright accent chair or unique lamp are things that people will see right away, so they won’t be thinking about the size of the room.

Use Lighting Properly

Different types of lighting can be used to draw attention to focal points in a room. Overall, your space needs to be well-lit; otherwise, it’s going to feel claustrophobic. You can then use pieces such as pendant lights over a living area or dining table to mark the different sections of a room. In a small space, stick to wall-mounted lighting where possible, avoiding oversized floor or table lamps.

Add Some Unique Touches

Without a few personal objects on display, your living space will look too much like a show home, and it won’t feel cosy. In small spaces, a few objects on a shelf can brighten up the room and draw attention from its size. Whether it’s family photos or unusual items you picked up while travelling, don’t be afraid to make the space your own.

Whatever the size of your home, you’ll want to make the most out of your living space. A few changes to the design or layout can make a big difference, creating the feel of more space and giving you a place that feels homely.

For expert buying and selling property advice, contact our team of professionals at Essex Homes And Lettings on 01245398466 or call into our office.

Posted on

2021 Interior Trends: Furniture, Colours and Styles for Your Home in Chelmsford

interior trends

Are you planning on giving your Chelmsford home a makeover in 2021? Maybe it’s time to ditch that tired old rug and sofa you’ve been hanging on to for years and drag your home into a brand new year?

For inspiration, here are some of the top interior trends coming for 2021 that we absolutely love!

Vintage

Homeowners are increasingly looking for ways in which to make their homes stand out, instead of the usual mass produced, flat-pack furniture that’s functional but not unique. Think antique sideboards and cabinets in dark shades of brown.

And the more unique the story is behind it, the better! Mooch around antique shops to find that perfect quirky piece.

Sustainable

As a society we’re more aware than ever of the damage that’s being done to our planet, and that’s reflected in the growing trend of buying individual items of furniture, instead of mass-produced products.

This also ties in with the vintage trend. Furniture that was built 50 years ago not only has its own story, but it will also have been built to last. A few scratches add to its character and it won’t fall apart and get discarded so easily.

Multi-Functional Space

With the huge increase in people working from home, our houses have increasingly become our offices too.

For those who aren’t lucky enough to have a dedicated space for a home office, the demand for multi-functional furniture is increasing.

Consequently, items such as storage ottomans are perfect for using as both a footrest at the end of a long day and also a place to store your laptop and any paperwork out of sight in the evening.

Minimalist

Not only have people been working from home more, they’ve also been spending more time at home in general, with many living rooms serving as an office, gym and bar at times, often on the same day!

As a result of this increased time spent indoors, the desire to declutter and make more use of the space available will be a growing trend throughout 2021.

This also relates to the trend of having multi-functional furniture and space.

Natural Materials

Furniture that’s made from natural materials is also set to be a big hit in 2021, with designers constantly coming up with new ways of combining natural materials.

This can be anything from wood and marble to ceramics and metals as designers combine textures and styles.

Earthy Colours

One of the biggest trends that’s set to drop in 2021 is the use of earthy colours such as mustards, greens, beiges, blues and browns.

With so many people having spent so much time indoors recently, colours that we associate with nature and the outdoors are going to be popular as people reconnect with the outside environment and try to bring it into their homes.

Shades of Pink

Love them or hate them, soft and neutral shades of pink are another top trend when it comes to colours in 2021.

It’s light and airy, which gives rooms a more spacious feel, and it goes with most other colours, so finding furniture to complement the colour scheme will be easy.

Ocean Waves and Distant Shores

The increased time we’ve all spent indoors has heightened many people’s longing to get away and take a break, and that’s reflected in the trend for colours that relate to soft sea blues and cloudless skies.

Blue is also a very tranquil and calming colour, so it’s perfect for anyone who’s spending more time indoors and looking to destress.

House Plants

Following on from the trend for earthy colours, indoor plants are also back in fashion.

Not only do plants add colour and life to a room, they also freshen the air and bring the outdoor environment into the home.

And with such a wide variety of plants to choose from, there’s something suitable for any room in the house.

Individuality

It’s not just vintage furniture that’s trending for 2021, any items that could be considered unique and individual are currently in fashion.

As we’ve been spending more time in our homes and less time in the office and out socialising, there’s a noticeable shift towards stamping our own imprint on our homes. Rather than go for the tried and trusted functional furniture that we might have previously chosen, there’s an increased trend towards individual furniture that reflects our own personalities.

Think animal-shaped lamps and tropical theme light shades for example, or bright and bold statement rugs.

Posted on

90% LTV product choice doubles as lenders return to market: Moneyfacts

Increase

The number of residential mortgage products has risen for the third consecutive month to 2,893 – the highest availability recorded since April 2020 as the impact of the pandemic was beginning to be felt, the latest Moneyfacts data shows.

The largest monthly growth in availability was at 90% LTV, where the number of products almost doubled, increasing by 72 to 160, the highest seen since June 2020.

Those with higher levels of equity or deposit have also seen an improvement. At 75% LTV, availability rose to 629 deals, the highest level seen since July 2020.

The average two-year fixed rate for all LTVs increased for the sixth consecutive month, rising by 0.03% to 2.52% – the highest this rate has been since January 2019 when it was also 2.52%. This is now 0.08% higher year-on-year and is an increase of 0.53% compared to the record low of July 2020.

The equivalent five-year average fixed rate also increased this month. However, at 2.71%, this remains lower than the 2.74% seen this time last year, but is still a rise of 0.46% compared to the low of July.

Eleanor Williams, finance expert at Moneyfacts, said: “The UK property market remained unseasonably buoyant in the lead up to the New Year, where, perhaps bolstered by the increase in product availability over recent months supporting demand from borrowers, the latest Bank of England data recorded that house purchase approvals had rocketed to the highest level seen since August 2007. Following the sharp drop off in availability in 2020, it is positive to see that we are beginning 2021 with the total number of mortgage deals rising for the third consecutive month. With 111 more deals on offer this month, at 2,893 this is the highest we have seen since April 2020, when the sector experienced mass product withdrawals as the impact of Coronavirus and subsequent base rate cuts began to be felt.

“This month also saw further positive movements at the higher end of the LTV spectrum, with the number of products for those looking to secure a deal at 90% LTV nearly doubling to 160, and at 85% LTV increasing by 43 to 439. As more lenders have returned to these higher LTV tiers, there is greater choice for those borrowers with lower levels of deposit or equity, who spent much of last year with so few options available to them. Furthermore, this has also extended to those who have higher levels of deposit or equity, who may be pleased to note that in the 75% and 80% LTV tiers we have also recorded increased availability, with both brackets now offering the most products they have since July.

“Not only is the increase in product choice a positive for borrowers, but it seems that a measure of competition may have started to return to some sectors as well. At the higher end of the LTV tiers, both the average two and five-year fixed rate deals for those looking to secure a mortgage at 90% LTV saw the largest monthly reductions, dropping by 0.14% and 0.13% respectively this month, while the equivalent rates at 85% dropped by 0.05% and 0.06% respectively, indicating that lender confidence may be returning to this part of the market, despite the still uncertain economic outlook.

“However, not all LTV tiers saw rates fall this month, which has resulted in the overall two-year average rate continuing its march upwards for the sixth consecutive month. At 2.52%, this is 0.08% above where this rate sat this time last year and equals the high this rate last reached in January 2019. Those who are interested in the slightly longer-term stability of a five-year fixed rate deal may notice that this rate, while rising by 0.02% this month, at 2.71% remains 0.03% down year-on-year. Those who are considering securing a new mortgage may feel motivated to explore their options now, before rates potentially increase further.

“This improvement in options for mortgage borrowers has occurred at a time when high levels of borrower demand have been fuelled by those hoping to benefit from the stamp duty holiday and by those who re-evaluated what they want from a home and were part of the unleashed demand that arose after the first lockdown in 2020. As we navigate our way through another period of restrictions, this time the property market is expected to remain open for business. However, with timescales for processing mortgages potentially subject to delays, and with the average shelf life for mortgages remaining at just 28 days, it has possibly never been more vital to call upon the knowledge and help of a qualified adviser to progress any applications and explore what may be the best option for their circumstances.”

Original Article from Financial Reporter 11/01/2021

Posted on

Good news for first time buyers as 10% deposits make a return

FTB

HSBC UK is re-introducing its 90 per cent Loan To Value mortgages from next week – a possible lifeline for first time buyers scrabbling to save a deposit. 

Many lenders withdrew low-deposit mortgage deals last year, as worries over the housing market’s response to the Coronavirus led to lenders becoming more cautious. 

The Yorkshire Building Society and TSB have made tentative moves back towards low-deposit mortgages, but HSBC is seen as a symbolic ‘big player’ making such a move.

The bank has confirmed that it will offer a range of two and five-year fixed rate options up to 35 year terms. Mortgage rates will be announced on January 12.

Michelle Andrews, HSBC UK’s head of buying a home, says: “These mortgages build on our significant support for brokers and mortgage customers throughout 2020 and will be available across the board – for home purchases, first-time buyers and to those remortgaging – all up to a maximum of 35 years.

“The new lockdown will undoubtedly present challenges, but the experience of overcoming numerous difficulties during the original lockdown, for example making more use of automated valuations, will be invaluable. 

“We are all seeking a return to normal, although for many it will feel like we may not see that for a while. With us returning to the higher LTV space, hopefully that is a little bit of welcome normality.”

Original Article from Estate Agent Today 08/01/2021

Posted on

New Year…New Agent?

2021

We’ve noticed a trend recently. You love your home, you love Chelmsford, but you’ve also realised that you need somewhere new. Perhaps somewhere larger, somewhere with a bigger garden, somewhere closer to the countryside, or even somewhere a little smaller.

Yes, it appears you’ve got a dose of ‘ready to move’, and what better time than the New Year – a time often linked with new beginnings and fresh starts.

So, how do you find the best estate agent?

What questions should you ask?

As property experts in the Chelmsford area, we at Essex Homes And Lettings thought we’d give you our seven tips so that you can choose the best estate agent for you.

Phone a Friend

Ask for recommendations. Friends and family can point you in the right direction and equally they can steer you away from the agents to avoid! Ask them if they’ve had a great experience with a particular estate agent, and enquire about how communicative, knowledgeable and friendly the agent was. Did the agent get the job done – and achieve the asking price or above?

Tip: Social media is your friend! If you’re a member of a Facebook community group in a particular area, post your questions in that group. And while you’re there check out local estate agents’ profiles to discover more about their local area knowledge and understand how they interact with the local community.

Read Reviews

Check out estate agents reviews online. Facebook reviews, Google reviews and reviews on Feefo can all give you an insight into other customers experiences. Have a read through to get a good idea as to whether or not an agent is worth shortlisting.

Tip: Always have an open mind when reading reviews, because while most will be genuine, some negative ones (and some positive ones) may not be.

Check the Agents Website

If you have a couple of shortlisted estate agents, check out their websites. Compare and contrast the services they offer and the fees they charge. Research where they market their properties and check out their social media feeds.

Tip: If you’re comparing and contrasting, you need to ensure you know what you want your chosen estate agent to do for you. Write a wish list of your requirements.

Check Fees and T&Cs

When it comes to estate agents, each will offer a slightly different service, and each will have a different way of operating. You have high street offices, internet-based offices, and hybrid agencies that blend traditional with the internet. Each has its advantages and disadvantages depending on your individual requirements, but always check the small print and look at the overall service.

Tip: Do some research and decide whether you want a sole agency agreement, or if you would like multiple agents to market your property. It’s important to read the contractual obligations if you choose the latter.

Review your Agent’s Performance

Remember, your estate agent will be working for you, to get your house marketed and sold. But it’s actually a two-way thing and you will need to do what you can to help them do their job too. Your agent should be prepared to communicate with you if they think things should change, like a review of the price for example. And you should feel confident enough to ask about performance and see results or otherwise.

Tip: Have a clear understanding of your expectations and what you will want to review. Is it the number of people shown your property, or is it the number of hits on property websites? Is it about proactive calls made to prospective buyers, or is it to get an offer within a certain timeframe?

Same Difference

When you are narrowing down your shortlist, have a look at the properties that the agent sells.

  • Are they similar to your house?
  • Do they have any experience selling homes similar to your property?
  • Can they talk with good knowledge about the local area?
  • How accurate are their valuations?

All of these are a must because you need to know that your agent knows what they are doing and can convey that to a prospective buyer.

Tip: If you want to know how much similar properties have sold for have a look online so that you are fully informed.

Trust your Gut Instinct

There’s a lot to be said for getting a feel for whether you have picked the right agent to market your property. Something may simply click into place when you’re having a conversation, or you may know immediately that the agent is for you. Trust your instinct as it may well be right.

Tip: While we say trust your instinct, make sure you also carry out the checks and reviews as well!

For no-obligation advice on selling your Chelmsford home, please contact our expert property team at Essex Homes And Lettings on 01245398466.

Posted on

Extend stamp duty holiday to ensure ‘no sudden collapse in the spring’

stamp duty

Despite residential property prices continuing to increase, there are growing signs that the market will soon run out of steam, especially if the stamp duty holiday is not extended, risking a damaging economic downturn, according to David Alexander, the joint chief executive officer of apropos by DJ Alexander.

He joins various estate agents, surveyors and solicitors in lobbying the government to extend the stamp duty holiday, as buyers rush to beat the 31 March deadline.

Alexander, like many agents, wants the government to phase the stamp duty cut out over six months to a year to ensure the housing market does not hit “a brick wall at the end of March”.

With the SDLT threshold extension set to end in less than three months, Alexander is concerned that there is a serious risk of the market hitting a financial cliff edge which could result in a sudden fall in property values.

If this is coupled with a significant increase in capital gains tax on second homes and investment properties, then much of the recent growth in the market could quickly become dissipated in a short period.

Alexander commented: “The fast-growing property market has been one of the surprises of the pandemic with few predicting that it would be so buoyant over such a prolonged period. The SDLT threshold extension undoubtedly contributed to this boom along with buyers changed priorities and shifting housing demands initiated by owners and tenants’ reactions to the lockdown.”

“The resultant boom has led to substantial increases in average house prices over the last seven to eight months which shows little sign of abating unless the market hits a brick wall at the end of March. It would be a shame, and potentially damaging to the economy, if the gains of the last year were simply lost through a sudden ending of the stamp duty extension.

“The most sensible and balanced approach would be to continue the threshold extension and phase it out over six months to a year to ensure there is no sudden collapse in the spring. In this way we could ensure some continuity and stability in the property market at a time when many may feel that there is very little certainty in employment, finances, or the wider economy.”

Alexander added: “There is much to be optimistic about in the coming year but there is also a balancing act to be struck by the government to ensure that the gains the property market has made in recent months are not simply dissipated in a loss of momentum in the market and unfair and unprecedented property tax hikes in the Budget.”

Original Article from Property Industry Eye 04/01/2021

Posted on

Rental growth ‘slightly positive’ for 2021 say surveyors

rent

Rental growth expectations remain “slightly positive” across most of the UK according to the latest Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors market snapshot.

The assessment is based on surveyor sentiment rather than hard data, but RICS says its lettings sector members in most parts of the country anticipate an increase in volumes and rent from early in 2021.

However in December – for the third consecutive month – a net balance of in excess of 60 per cent of respondents expect rents to fall in London over the coming three months, making the capital city a clear exception to the rest of the UK.

There’s also bad news for London from the Home website, which runs a monthly monitor on the lettings market.

Its December index says overall supply in the UK rental sector is 1.4 per cent down year-on-year, with particularly severe shortages are to be found in most English regions and in Wales, forcing up rents. 

The largest annualised hikes are in Wales (up a huge 16.2 per cent) and the West Midlands (up slightly more at 17.0 per cent).

But Home says the Greater London area now shows acute oversupply in properties available to rent – a rise of 54 per cent over the year. 

Rents in the capital are in freewill, claims Home, down 16.0 per cent in 2020. 

“This dire situation is having a severe knock-on effect for the capital’s buy-to-let sales market” the site concludes.

Recent research by flat sharing website SpareRoom also spells bad news for London’s lettings market in the near term at least.

According to the research, 27 per cent of renters in the capital plan to move after the pandemic has come to an end, with half of them determined to leave the city completely. 

“With 60 per cent of all renters who plan on moving post-Covid-19 are not looking to move to a major city, a wider shift away from city living looks likely” says the website.

Original Article from 22/12/2020

Posted on

How to find your perfect home in Chelmsford

find your home

It’s exciting preparing to find a new home and embarking on the next stage of your property journey, but of course, there are many factors that must be considered along the way as you find your perfect home in Chelmsford.

It’s likely you will view many different properties before finally settling on the right one for you. It’s also likely that you will have certain criteria to fulfil and plenty of boxes to be ticked. These might include the need for your chosen property to be situated in a location of your choosing and its ability to meet the demands of your lifestyle, whether that be in close proximity to good schools, shopping facilities, or if you are a social butterfly, close to cafe culture and a vibrant nightlife.

At Essex Homes And Lettings our aim is to help you make the correct choices and best decisions when it comes to finding your perfect home in Chelmsford so to make the experience straight-forward and stress free, we have compiled our top tips to ensure you make the right decision.

Research is the key to the door

What type of property do you require? It’s important to scope out the local area so that you can judge what type of properties are available in which locations and at what cost. For example, Victorian properties may be located at one end of a town, whilst new builds are predominantly at the other end! With this in mind, if you are searching for a large Victorian property in location A, your research may indicate that you may only be able to secure that particular type of property in location B. So, the question is, will you be happy to compromise?

This is the reason it’s vital you research the market thoroughly so that you not only have realistic expectations but are aware that you may need to adjust those expectations in order to find your perfect home in Chelmsford.

Top Tip: Think about what you truly need from your home rather than extras you simply desire, and be honest about it! For example, if you work from home, an office will be a need. If you have children, a garden will be a need. If you have a large family, multiple bathrooms will be a need. Whereas a desire could be a log burning stove, a decked area in the garden, solid wood floors or a conservatory. All of the latter can of course be added to a property with good planning and little hassle.

Location, location, location

Do you need to be close to your place of work, your children’s school or your extended family? Or are you willing to compromise on proximity in order to purchase your dream home in Chelmsford? Think about whether you are prepared to make concessions on some of your specifics, perhaps with a trade-off being a slightly longer commute, living closer to a busy road or a little further from amenities. These factors matter and it’s important you are clear about what is imperative to your happiness in your new home.

Top Tip: The right location is often more important than the right house. You can always alter a house and turn it into your home – however, you cannot change its location. Consider this when seeking compromises!

Enlist the help of an expert local estate agent

Finding your perfect home can be challenging so please don’t attempt to do so alone. Your local estate agent will be able to help you scope the area, arrange viewings of properties that match your criteria, shortlist the properties you love, offer expert advice regarding local schools and businesses in the area and of course assist you through making an offer and negotiating the best price on your dream home.

Essex Homes And Lettings are here to help you

By registering with us and letting us know your preferred location and the type of property in Chelmsford you are looking for, you’ll receive updates as soon as properties matching your criteria become available and you will never need to worry that you’ll miss out on your dream home.

At Essex Homes And Lettings we take on new properties in Chelmsford and the surrounding areas daily, so register with us today and let us assist you in finding your dream home in Chelmsford.

We are ready to help you start the process of finding your perfect home and look forward to welcoming you to our office. Simply call us on 01245398466 to arrange an appointment or drop in and speak with a member of our friendly team. We look forward to seeing you soon.

Posted on

ONS: Rental prices hit an all-time high

ONS

Rents have increased to their highest level on record, according to the latest price index from the Office of National Statistics (ONS).

Private rental prices paid by tenants rose by 1.4% in the 12 months to November 2020 to hit an average of £725 a month, the data shows.

Unsurprisingly, London is once again home to the highest rental rates at an average of £1,435 a month — almost double the rate for the rest of England. 

The monthly rate for inner London was £1,690, while in outer London it was £1,300.

In contrast, the North East recorded the lowest monthly rate at £495. 

David Alexander, the joint chief executive officer of apropos by DJ Alexander, commented: “This data shows that, despite this being an extremely difficult year, rents within the private rented sector remain buoyant.”

But he pointed out that it is important to recognise that within these figures lie enormous regional and country variations with England increasing by 1.4%; Wales by 1.6%; and an increase of just 0.6% in Scotland.

Scotland’s rental growth has consistently been below that of the rest of the countries of the UK since August 2016. Indeed, the figure for November 2020 is below that of the lowest English region which is the South East which saw annual growth of 0.9% whilst the highest performing area is the South West at 2.3%.

Alexander continued: “The private rented sector is the second largest provider of homes in the UK yet is often treated as an outcast by politicians when discussions on how to provide sufficient housing for the future. Given these modest rental increases it is clear that landlords and investors may be making a living, but they are not earning a fortune.”

He added: “I would urge governments, regulators and legislators to engage closely with the PRS to ensure that it continues to be supported in providing millions of homes for people across the country. The PRS is an essential part of the housing mix in the UK and needs support now and in the future. Landlords, property investors, and individuals must be helped to get through the pandemic and out the other side if we are to have a stable, viable and healthy housing sector in the future.”

The traditionally quieter winter months for the lettings market could this year “be silent enough to hear a pin drop”, according to Franz Doerr, CEO at rental payments platform flatfair.

Doerr added: “Cooling demand means landlords, particularly those in more central areas, could struggle to quickly fill voids if tenants hand in their notices over the coming weeks.”

Original Article from Property Industry Eye 17/12/2020

Posted on

Government says it ‘does not plan to extend’ stamp duty holiday

deadline

The government has confirmed that it “does not plan” to extend the temporary relief offered to property buyers via the stamp duty holiday.

Estate agents, surveyors and solicitors were among those hoping that the chancellor Rishi Sunak would extend the deadline beyond 31 March to help stimulate the housing market next year.

But the Treasury has opted not to extend the stamp duty holiday for property buyers beyond March next year, and it is now feared that this could result in the collapse of almost a quarter of a million property sales, as buyers struggle to beat the deadline, owed in part to delays in the conveyancing process.

More than 23,000 people have signed a petition calling for the stamp duty holiday to be extended for six months after 31 March 2021.

As it received over 10,000 signatures, the government was required to respond.

A spokesperson for HM Treasury said: “The SDLT holiday was designed to be a temporary relief to stimulate market activity and support jobs that rely on the property market. The government does not plan to extend this temporary relief.

“The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown caused uncertainty for those buying and selling residential property and property transactions fell by as much as 50% during the first national lockdown.

“To stimulate immediate momentum in the property market and to support the jobs of people whose employment relied on custom from the property industry, the Government decided to introduce a temporary Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) relief. This relief increased the starting threshold of residential SDLT from £125,000 to £500,000 from the 8 July 2020 until 31 March 2021.

“Since the relief was introduced, transactions have increased and seasonally adjusted data shows that in October 2020, transactions were 8% higher than October 2019.

“As the relief was to provide an immediate stimulus to the property market, the Government does not plan to extend this relief. SDLT is an important source of government revenue, raising several billion pounds each year to help pay for the essential services the Government provides.

“The Government is committed to supporting home ownership and helping people get on and move up the housing ladder. When the SDLT Holiday ends, the Government will maintain a SDLT relief for first time buyers which increases the starting threshold of residential SDLT to £300,000 for first-time buyers that purchase a property below £500,000. In addition, a new Help to Buy scheme will be introduced from 1 April 2021. This scheme will run until March 2023.

“All tax policy is kept under review and the Government considers the views it receives carefully as part of that process.”

At 100,000 signatures, the petition to extend the stamp duty holiday will be considered for debate in Parliament.

Original Article from Property Industry Eye 17/12/2020