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Sales surge after stamp duty holiday extension: Rics

for sale

There was a sharp increase in sales agreed during March, following the chancellor’s extension to the stamp duty holiday, according to the latest index from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

A net balance of +50 per cent of the surveyors questioned reported an increase in sales, which is the strongest reading since August last year. 

Respondents are anticipating sales activity will continue to rise over the coming three months, with a net balance of +35 per cent forecasting increases, the most upbeat reading since January 2020.

New buyer enquiries also surged, with a balance of +42 per cent of respondents recording an increase compared to 0 per cent the previous month.

This was the strongest figure since September 2020. 

But the pace of new instructions did not match the jump in interest from buyers, leading to a gap between supply and demand and rising prices.

A net balance of +29 per cent of surveyors reported that appraisals were up on the same period last year, suggesting more new instructions should come onto the market in the coming months.

Meanwhile, +59 per cent of respondents reported a rise in prices over the past month.

Surveyors responses suggest rising prices across all parts of the UK, with the strongest momentum in the North West, Yorkshire & the Humber and Northern Ireland.

This upward trajectory is expected to continue with +42 per cent of surveyors predicting prices will increase over the next three months and +60 per cent saying they will rise over the next year.

In the rental market, +36 per cent of respondents recorded increased tenant demand, up from +26 per cent in February. 

New landlord instructions were down according to a net balance of -25 per cent, resulting in upward pressure on rents. 

A net balance of surveyors +47 per cent expect rents to rise. 

The only part of the UK where rents are expected to remain flat or fall was London.

Rics chief economist Simon Rubinsohn says: “The results show that the decision of the chancellor to extend the stamp duty break and then taper its expiry has had an immediate impact on the housing market with all the key activity indictors rebounding in March. 

“However the headline numbers as well as the anecdotal remarks from respondents clearly demonstrate that across much of the market, demand is outstripping supply and that as a result, prices continue to move upwards.

“More worryingly, this is also being reflected in the price expectations data both at the twelve months horizon and beyond.

“Meanwhile the lettings market is displaying a broadly similar characteristic in terms of the relationship between demand and supply according to theRics data with the notable exception of the numbers for London. 

“Significantly despite rents moving higher, contributors continue to point to the less favourable environment for investors in the market as playing a key role in fuelling this imbalance.”

Wayhome chief executive Nigel Purves says: “While we are seeing a new-found confidence among many buyers and sellers, sadly this just isn’t the case for a large proportion of aspiring homeowners across the UK.

“Even with the stamp duty extension for an extra three months spurring on hopeful home buyers, there are many who find themselves overlooked and ignored due to their household income not meeting a mortgage lender’s criteria. 

“This is despite them already having a deposit saved and being able to afford the equivalent of mortgage repayments in rent each month. More needs to be done to level the playing field and provide people with alternative routes into home ownership.”

Metlife head of individual protection Rich Horner says: “Thanks to the chancellor’s extension of the stamp duty holiday, and the introduction of the 95 per cent mortgage scheme, it’s been another positive month for the housing sector – one that could have suffered severely had the stamp duty holiday ended abruptly.

“In the months ahead, we should continue to see a surge in homeownership, particularly as the new 95 per cent mortgage scheme will make buying a home a reality for more first-time buyers. 

“We’re also seeing more lenders offering their own competitive mortgage deals. “Despite the success of the measures, potential buyers need to be wary of their affordability and ensure they’re not living above their means, particularly as homes up to the value of £600,000 are eligible under the scheme.”

Original Article from Mortgage Strategy 08/04/2021

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Detached property price rises outstrip rest of market, says agency


An agency has analysed sold prices since the first lockdown in March 2020 and February this year – and has found detached houses have outstripped the rest of the market. 

Across England the average price paid for a detached house has increased from £349,995 to £375,000 since the start of the first lockdown, a 7.1 per cent increase. 

At the same time, sold prices for all other property types have increased by 5.7 per cent from £210,000 to £222,000 – that’s 1.4 per cent lower than detached homes. 

The research – using HM Land Registry data – has been by Manchester-based agency Ascend Properties which claims it is the North West where this trend is most obvious.

Prior to lockdown, detached houses sold for an average of £280,000 across the North West, while other property types averaged £147,000 – a gap of 90 per cent. However, since lockdown detached homes in the North West have sold for an average of £299,995 compared to £153,000 for all other property types, meaning this price gap has now stretched to 96 per cent.

The South West ranks second, with detached homes up 6.8 per cent since lockdown, 2.3 per cent more than the rest of the market. Yorkshire and the Humber has also seen one of the biggest uplifts in detached property prices when compared to the rest of the market, with an increase of 5.4 per cent.

“There may well be an exodus of homebuyers leaving the capital in search of larger homes, but the figures show that the North West is actually leading the way where this trend is concerned” claims Ascend managing director Ged McPartlin.

Original Article from Estate Agent Today 08/04/2021

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Exchanges hit 10 year high with market frenzy set to continue


Data from agency Knight Frank suggests the number of UK exchanges last month was the highest in 10 years – well above even the late 2020 previous peak. 

The figure for March 2021 was nine per cent above the second-highest month – December 2020 – and 12 per cent higher than March 2016, when panic buying was going on ahead of the three per cent additional homes stamp duty surcharge.

The records weren’t limited to exchanges, says Knight Frank. 

The number of new prospective buyers registering in March was also the highest in 10 years, possibly encouraged by a deferred stamp duty holiday deadline, while the number of offers accepted in March was also the highest such figure in a decade. March was also the second-highest month in a decade for the number of offers made. Despite social distancing and wariness amongst some to leave their homes, the agency says March 2021 was also the fourth highest month in 10 years for viewings. 

“In broad terms, the strengthening economy and gradual return to normality are playing a key role” explains the agency.

“The UK housing market is in the middle of a perfect storm” according to Tom Bill, head of UK residential research at Knight Frank.

“Sellers who hesitated in the first two months of the year because they were home-schooling or had concerns about missing the stamp duty deadline are now listing their property. Meanwhile, the prospect of summer holidays means a spring surge in activity is more discernible this year, buoyed in many cases by high levels of personal savings accrued over the last year. 

“The successful vaccine roll-out and encouraging economic indicators are providing the mood music” he continues.

For these reasons, he says the surge seen last month is likely to continue until at least the summer.

Original Article from Estate Agent Today 08/04/2021

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Many transactions ‘taking four months from offer to exchange’

NAEA Propertymark says a record number of transactions are taking four months to move from offer to exchange.

The organisation says this was one of the key reasons why it campaigned for the extension of the stamp duty holiday which was – until recently – scheduled to end tomorrow.

In February, the latest data available, the number of property transactions taking over 17 weeks from the offer being accepted to exchanging contracts, increased again to 27 per cent from 26 per cent the previous month – the highest figure on record.

Mark Hayward, chief policy adviser at Propertymark, says: “It’s interesting to see that one in nine properties sold for more than the original asking price in February. Over the past few months, we’ve witnessed a boom in the number of prospective buyers and the number of sales taking place following the government’s announcement of a stamp duty holiday, and so it seems many buyers are willing to pay over the asking price in order to secure their dream home.

“We are also seeing a record high for the number of transactions taking more than 17 weeks from the offer being accepted to exchanging contracts due to this unusually high demand for property. This is one of the reasons we campaigned for an extension to the stamp duty holiday; to prevent sales falling through due to delays in the chain.”

Data from Propertymark also suggests that in February one in nine properties sold for more than the original asking price. This is the highest figure recorded since August last year and the highest figure on record for the month of February since 2016. Some 57 per cent of properties sold for less than the original asking price.

The number of sales made to first time buyers rose to 25 per cent in February, from 23 per cent in January; this was the highest figure recorded since July 2020 and year-on-year is an increase from 22 per cent in February 2020.

In terms of demand, in February the average number of prospective buyers registered per estate agent branch stood at 388, a 20 per cent decrease from 487 in January. However, this is the highest figure recorded for the month of February since 2017, when the figure stood at 425.

On sales, the average number of sales agreed per estate agent branch stood at 11 in February, an increase from 10 in January.

Year-on-year, this figure is up from nine sales agreed per estate agent branch in February 2020 and seven sales agreed per estate agent branch in February 2019.

The average number of properties available per member branch stood at 34 in February, falling from 38 in January.

Original Article from Estate Agent Today 30/03/2021

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Moving Home in Chelmsford: Who Should I Notify?

moving home

Moving home can be the wonderful fresh start you need. A new place, new location, new neighbours and new friends we just haven’t met yet. You may have got all the financials in place, instructed the lawyers and got the removals company all booked in.

But wait! Who needs to know you are moving home in Chelmsford and why?

Here, we at Essex Homes And Lettings identify some of the people and organisations you should be notifying about your move. And don’t forget, we can help you create a list if you need a little bit of extra help.

1. Don’t Bank on Them Knowing!

Financial institutions, such as banks and building societies, should be informed as soon as you can. The same goes for pension companies or credit card providers. Firstly, their paperwork has to be correct, and they often use it as a security check – think of how you get a new bank card or PIN numbers. Secondly, imagine if your bank details and personal finance arrangements are sent to the wrong address and end up in the wrong hands.

Top Tip: Take time to write a list of organisations you bank with or have some sort of financial agreement with. Do this when you’re moving home and try to keep it updated as it’ll save you time in the future.

2. Motoring Into the Future

Driving off to a new home? Make sure the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency are kept informed once you’ve moved. They need to have the correct address for you and your licence, and for your car.

Top Tip: The DVLA is one of many government organisations, such as HMRC, who will need to know your new address. Think about other governmental organisations who have info about you and make sure they all know the changes.

3. Power to the Utility Providers

You will have been paying for your gas, water and electricity bills, and it might be that when you move, you’ll have new suppliers. Make sure your old suppliers have updated details for the property you have moved out of – after all, you do not want to be paying someone else’s bills. Remember to update your TV licence and TV companies too.

Top Tip: Don’t forget to take your meter readings when you move so that you are billed for what you have used, and no more.

4. A Health Checklist

Whether you have a medical condition or are as fit as a fiddle, you will have a doctor and the GP surgery where you are registered must have your updated details on file. This goes for the dentist too, and the optician, and any other medical services provider to whom you are registered.

GPs often use addresses for identification purposes too, so it’s a security requirement as well.

Top Tip: Communicate with your medical providers as soon as you can. You don’t want important letters going to the wrong address.

5. Education and Employment Matters

These two areas are aligned as education and employment are often linked. It’s a good idea to deal with them together, so you don’t forget. Schools, nurseries, training providers, and employers all need up to date information as they will all need a record and be able to communicate with you via letter if they need to.

Top Tip: Group your thinking together. There’s less chance of missing something then.

6. Council Tax

Love it or hate it, we all have to pay council tax on the property in which we live. Worked out by several factors and set by the local council, it’s vital that you pay what you need to pay. If you don’t let the council know you’ve moved, you might get a notice to pay for a property that is no longer yours.

Top Tip: There are various ways to contact your local council with your new details, from phone to live chat to email. Whichever method you choose, it a priority to let them know.

You might also want to let family and friends know – or you might not if you’re having a fresh start!

We hope this gives you a clearer idea of who you need to notify! Still looking for the perfect property in Chelmsford? Call our team on01245398466 or email, and we’ll get the conversation started.

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Sellers moving into rentals to break property chains: Rightmove


A growing number of home sellers appear to be moving into short-term rentals in order to put themselves in a stronger position as chain-free buyers.

Figures from Rightmove show that the proportion of properties listed as “chain-free” on the site has increased from 15 per cent a year ago to 21 per cent now.

 In February the number of buyers searching for properties with “no chain” in Rightmove’s keyword sort tool was 72 per cent higher than in February 2020 in the rush to cash in on the stamp duty holiday before March 30 when it had been originally set to finish.

The trend is most defined in London where the percentage of chain-free homes has jumped from 12 per cent this time last year to 21 per cent now. 

Rightmove points to corresponding strong growth in rental demand of over 40 per cent in the neighbouring regions of the South East and South West as some people choose to sell up and rent outside of the capital.

There are also some landlords selling up in the capital due to falling rents.

Some may be trying to take advantage of the stamp duty holiday to improve their chances of getting a good price

Rightmove director of property data Tim Bannister says: “We know that one of the reasons sellers are often hesitant to come to market is because they can’t find somewhere that they want to buy, but with record buyer demand and the stamp duty holiday being an added incentive for prospective buyers there seems to be a group of people who are choosing to sell up now and rent temporarily.

“The flexibility of renting gives people the chance to ‘try before you buy’ in a new area and so those who have chosen to move to the countryside may be selling their house chain-free to then rent and take time to decide if the good life is definitely for them.

“Selling chain-free is perhaps something some owners hadn’t considered as a possibility before now, but with the competitive market and stock shortage we currently have they’re trying to put themselves in a more attractive position when their dream home comes along. 

“In the capital there are also some landlords who are selling up now, which could open up an opportunity for some first-time buyers looking for their first home.”

Chestertons chief executive Guy Gittins says: “Over the past year there has certainly been a marked increase in the number of people that are selling without an onward purchase through our London offices. 

“One of the most common reasons is that the family house market is incredibly competitive in London and many sellers are willing to break the chain in order to become chain-free buyers and place themselves in the best position to secure a property when the right one comes up. 

“With many people now working from home, these sorts of buyers have more flexibility in where they live in the short-term, and many are choosing to move back with family temporarily, or even moving further out of London for the short-term.

“There are a number of other reasons as well, including a number of landlords selling their buy-to-let investments due to falling rents, second home owners deciding to cash in on some of the additional value that has built up in their property, and sellers making their property more attractive to buyers who want to meet the stamp duty holiday deadline.”

Strutt & Parker’s senior associate director in Exeter Oliver Custance Baker adds: “This is definitely something that we’ve seen particularly as current stock levels aren’t quite meeting levels of buyer demand. 

“In the Tiverton area we have numerous buyers who are sitting in rented accommodation, not only so they can try out the area and the lifestyle on offer, but to make sure that they’re first in the door when something that ticks their required boxes comes onto the market.”

Original Article from Mortgage Strategy 26/03/2021

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Stamp duty rush closing the asking to sold price gap

stamp duty gap

The heightened level of market activity due to the stamp duty holiday has closed the gap between asking prices and the amount buyers actually pay, according to research from GetAgent.

Prior to the stamp duty holiday, asking prices between January 2020 and June 2020 averaged £277,104, while buyers paid £248,102 on average, a -10.5% difference.

However, the heightened market activity seen as a result of the stamp duty holiday has caused this gap to close to -7.2% since 8th July last year.

Sold prices have averaged £261,325 since the introduction of the holiday, up a notable 5.3% when compared to the previous average of £248,102.

GetAgent says this gap could have closed even further, but savvy sellers have looked to make the most of buoyant buyer activity with a marginal increase in asking prices of 1.6% since the introduction of the holiday.

Prior to the stamp duty holiday, sold prices in London came in -0.5% lower than the average asking price. However, since its introduction, the capital’s homebuyers are selling at an average of £493,075, 2.1% more than the average asking price of £483,047.

The North East has also seen sellers benefit the most. Prior to the launch of the holiday, the average asking price was £133,871, while sold prices came in -5.2% less at an average of £126,977. Since the holiday launched, homes are selling for an average of £135,831, 0.3% more than the average asking price of £135,363.

The South East (-3.2%), East of England (-6.2%) and West Midlands (-7.6%) are home to the lowest gaps between higher average asking prices and the average sold price paid by buyers.

Founder and CEO of GetAgent, Colby Short, commented: “It’s inevitable that sellers will enter the market at a higher price than they’re likely to sell for and so sold prices are almost always going to come in at a lower average than asking prices.

“However, in hot market conditions, this gap tends to close as more buyers fight it out for the same property and at present, we’re seeing a pretty hot market indeed. So much so that sold prices in both London and the North East have actually crept above the average asking price since the introduction of the stamp duty holiday, while all but one other region has seen the gap close.

“With more money in their pockets and more competition when trying to secure a home, buyers are paying that little bit more. Of course, this gap would be wider, but savvy sellers are also entering the market at a higher price point in order to make the most of these buoyant market conditions.”

Original Article from Financial Reporter 25/03/2021

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How to Keep a House Chain Progressing Smoothly

House chain

Buying and selling a property in Chelmsford can be a super stressful time, and our responsibility is of course to ensure things go as smoothly as possible.

Perhaps you’re ready to move, but the people buying your house need their buyers to get up to speed. And those buyers also need their buyers to press the pedal down on the transaction!

Before you know it, suddenly you’re getting into a long old property chain, and we know that sometimes chains can break, taking with them your hopes of a move into a dream property.

This can be absolutely heartbreaking. Consumer body Which? surveyed 2,000 homemovers, and discovered “around three in 10 (28%) people have experienced a property purchase falling through”.

There are several reasons why a property chain breaks. But, the good news is, you can do something about it and play your part in making sure the chain keeps moving.

So, here are our top seven tips on how to keep your house chain moving. 

1. Choose a Chain-Free Buyer

This sounds so simple, doesn’t it? You may get a few offers on your house, but only one may not be part of a chain. This means they don’t need to rely on something else happening in order to move. So, if you are lucky enough to get two or three people offering on your property (and the price is right), choose the one who you think will cause the least trouble!

Top Tip: This is where you can rely on us, your trusted estate agent in Chelmsford to do our job and find out more about your potential buyers.

2. Set Goals

When you are right at the beginning of the process with a potential buyer, make sure you stipulate, through your estate agent, your preferred timescales. Things may not always stick to plan, but if you are all aware of a date you are working towards, it will focus minds.

Top Tip: Be realistic. You may want your move to progress at lightning speed, but selling your home can be a complex process and take so much longer than you anticipate.

3. Be Prepared

When you’re thinking about property chains, it’s easy to think about what all the other parties are doing, and focus on how they can stop your chain from breaking. But don’t forget, you’re part of the chain too, so don’t be the one who holds things up! Make sure your paperwork is in order, finances organised and mortgage offers are on the table.

Top Tip: Make sure your paperwork is to hand to refer to, whether you’re at home or in the office. If a query arises there won’t be a delay in you responding. 

4. Respond Well

Keeping the chain moving takes good communication from all parties, and that includes you. Your conveyancer may need information quickly or an email response before close of business on a particular day. Be accessible, and make sure everyone has the correct contact details for you.

Top Tip: Respond to any queries promptly to avoid delays in clarification. If you need to seek out information that you don’t have to hand, don’t put it off!

5. Use Experienced Professionals

You’re selling your house – probably your biggest asset – so you should ensure that you have professionals doing the job for you. Choose your estate agent, not necessarily on their fees, but on their experience and ability to keep things moving. You want them to be progressing and chasing where necessary, and making the calls and sending the emails.

Top Tip: Draw up your shortlist of reputable, local estate agents and speak with each of them. You need a good relatiosnhip with your agent so making sure you are on the same wave-length and you get a good vibe is important. Remember, how they act with you is also how they will act with potential buyers!

6. Think Outside the Chain

If there’s a problem with the house chain further up, consider selling your property and renting somewhere to live until the right property comes up for you rather than risk losing your own buyer. This might not work, of course, if you’ve got your heart set on somewhere in particular, but it could be an option.

Top Tip: Renting doesn’t have to be forever. You can usually enter into a short-term tenancy agreement which will give you time to look around and find somewhere new to call your own home.

7. Be Agile

Should a property chain break, and you lose the property you were going to buy, make sure you can move quickly when it comes to other alternative properties. Is it possible for the chain to discuss the issues and come to an agreement, perhaps to negotiate on prices? 

Top Tip: If you’re ready for all eventualities, then a broken chain may not lead to your heart breaking too. It really doesn’t have to be a dead-end.

If you want expert help on buying and selling or any advice regarding being in a property chain, then simply get in touch with us, Essex Homes And Lettings. Call us on 01245398466 or email to chat with a member of our friendly and experienced team.

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7 Home Selling Myths…Busted!


When it comes to selling your home in Chelmsford, there’s a lot of overwhelming information and old wives tales out there, and it can sometimes be difficult separating the fact from the fiction.

Advice often comes from well-meaning friends or family members who are just trying to be helpful, but in reality, they are not property experts!

Our team at Essex Homes And Lettings are all experienced property professionals with many years of experience between us. So, to ensure you are in possession of the correct information, here are seven home selling myths you’re likely to hear and why they’re not to be believed.

1. Overpricing Your Home Will Lead to Better Offers

Unfortunately, many sellers believe that by overpricing their house to start with, it leaves more room for negotiation and ultimately a better offer. That’s why we often see sellers marketing their properties with the agent who has simply come in with the highest valuation! 

However, this is entirely false.

When buyers are looking at properties, they’ll search within their price range. If your property price has been inflated, then it’s going to be competing against other properties that appear to be far better value for money, rather than sitting in the price bracket it should be in! This potentially means it will sit on the market for longer.

Buyers whose budget doesn’t stretch to the higher price range will miss out on seeing your property altogether as they’re not even looking in that price bracket.

You’ll attract more offers and sell your property more quickly if it’s been priced fairly. It gives it a chance to stand out among other properties in its price range, rather than being a poor relation in the higher price category. And you’re more likely to see interested parties competing upwards rather than knocking you down.

2. Getting an Immediate Offer Means it’s Priced Too Low

If you’ve resisted the urge to overprice your home and an offer comes in straight away, it’s tempting to think that you’ve missed a trick by not marketing it at a higher price. After all, if you had done, then you’d be a few thousand pounds better off surely.

Again, this is false. Most buyers scour the market for a couple of months, waiting for the perfect property to come up, and there’s a good chance that they’ve jumped in immediately to avoid missing out.

Remember too that if you’d overpriced it, there’s a chance they wouldn’t have found it in the first place.

3. A Better Offer Will Come Along if You Wait

This is another all too familiar trap that sellers fall into. After all, if you’ve had an offer on the very same day your home has gone on sale, then surely there’s likely to be a whole queue of buyers lining up for it?

No, not necessarily. You might just have been lucky enough to have the right buyer come along at the right time. If you receive a fair offer, then it’s usually best to accept it whether your property has been on the market for hours, days , weeks or months.

4. The Estate Agent With the Lowest Commission is the Best Option

While you’ll naturally want to earn as much money from your property sale as possible, it doesn’t mean you should sign a contract with the estate agent who offers the cheapest fees.

Selling a property can be a very stressful process. A good estate agent will help make it run as smoothly as possible while communicating effectively and providing outstanding service, so it’s crucial you weigh up what’s included in their fee.

Although it’s tempting to cut costs as much as possible in the short term, you might come to regret it over the longer term, especially if your property isn’t selling.

5. Major Renovations Will Offer the Biggest Return on Investment

Many homeowners are under the impression that if they spend a few thousand pounds on a conservatory, a swimming pool or a landscaped garden, they’ll just be able to add the cost of it to the house when they come to sell.

Sadly, it’s not quite as simple as this. Not all buyers will want to maintain a pool or require the space that a conservatory ultimately takes away from their garden, for example. Many buyers prefer to start with a blank canvas too, so they can add their own renovations.

That’s not to say that a major renovation is a bad idea, but if you’re only doing it to see a return when you come to sell, then it might be worth considering the type of renovation or extension that will bring you the best returns.

6. It’s Not Worth Fixing the House up at all

If you’ve decided to sell your property, it’s understandable that you won’t be thinking about spending even more money on it. After all, it won’t be you seeing the benefits long-term.

This logic is flawed, though, and it could cost you when it comes to getting the full asking price. A property that’s well maintained and looked after is far more appealing to buyers. Fixing broken fences and gates, tidying the garden, replacing broken windows or doors and giving any tired rooms a fresh lick of paint will go a long way towards selling your property for its true value.

7. Online Valuations are 100% Accurate

Online valuations are a fantastic tool and we are most definitely in favour! However, a quick online valuation of your property should be used as a guide. Online tools don’t always take into account the condition of a property or the extra value you may have added. They’re simply using other similar sized and types of properties in your area as a guideline.

The best way to get your property valued is always to contact an experienced, local estate agent who will come and value your property in person.

Essex Homes And Lettings are your local property experts for the Chelmsford area. Call us on 01245398466 or email to chat with a member of our friendly and experienced team.

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Stamp Duty receipts drop just 6% in the past year, despite holiday

stamp duty

Stamp Duty receipts for the year to the end of February fell just six per cent despite the high profile SDLT holiday running from early July. 

Data from the HMRC Tax Receipts and National Insurance Contributions division show stamp duty receipts at £775m last month, £49m less than February 2020 when the figure was £824m.

HMRC is now on course to recoup £8.2 billion in stamp duty this tax year, despite the holiday on duty payable on most properties selling up to £500,000.

Jonathan Stinton, head of intermediary relationships at Coventry Building Society, says: “The stamp duty holiday has really helped to fuel the market over the past few months. However, the average home buyer isn’t going to have contributed one penny in stamp duty.

“These numbers are a sign of a healthy market across the board where higher value homes, second homes and rental properties [none of which would have benefitted entirely from the stamp duty holiday] are also exchanging hands.”

Another HMRC study released last month says stamp duty receipts in the final quarter of 2020 were 47 per cent higher than the previous quarter, but 16 per cent lower than the fourth quarter of 2019.

The Revenue said: “The change in receipts will have mainly been impacted by the introduction of the stamp duty holiday.”

Original Article from Estate Agent Today 22/03/2021