Monthly Archives: February 2016

Keys with house in background

Buy-to-let property rush pre stamp duty rise

Stamp duty on second properties is due to increase in April following a Treasury consultation earlier this year and as a result the buy-to-let market has seen a busy start to 2016.

From the beginning of April, most owners in England and Wales will pay a 3% surcharge on stamp duty on purchases of buy-to-let properties and second homes.  The move is designed to free up more housing for people trying to buy their first home, who may be struggling due to rising prices and lack of housing supply.  Though targeted at landlords and those buying second properties for themselves, the changes will affect anyone buying a second home.  This will include parents trying to help their children get on the housing ladder by buying them a house or flat.

The exact policy is due to be outlined in the 2016 Budget in March and landlords appear to be keen to push through any purchases prior to the changes taking affect.  The British Bankers’ Association said that the number of mortgage applications approved for house purchases was 27% higher than the same period in 2015.  Providing similar data, the Council of Mortgage Lenders reported an eight-year high in mortgage borrowing.

The new charges are expected to raise an extra £1 billion in revenue for the Treasury over the next 15 years, however there are concerns that it will not achieve its’ objective of opening up the housing market.  Landlords may simply pass on the charges to tenants through increased rents.

There is still time to get ahead of the changes and to capitalise on this latest upward surge in prices in the market so please contact us to find out how we can sell your home from as little as £499 or 0.5% + VAT.

Housing development

Hart Council Planning Consultation reopens

Hart District Council have launched a fresh consultation on future development across the Hart area.

An initial consultation began in November 2015 but was stopped mid January 2016 due to errors found in the supporting material.  At the time, Cllr Stephen Parker, Leader of Hart District Council, said: “In order not to undermine the consultation process and to maintain a fair and transparent procedure, we have taken the decision to stop the consultation and have ceased our online response form…. I would like to reassure the public that by working with my colleagues to rectify the issues discovered, we will create a robust consultation going forward.”

With these matters now resolved, a fresh consultation has now opened and residents are once again invited to give their views on how development in the Hart area should be managed over the coming decades.  Cllr Stephen Parker, said: “We have been working hard over the past weeks to identify and rectify our consultation material. This has been completed and we are now confident that the new consultation is robust.”

The consultation itself remains largely unchanged and the Council has put in a place a process to assist respondents to read the changes and confirm their original response online, using the dedicated link www.hart.gov.uk/confirmation-of-local-plan-response. For those who have not had the opportunity to respond as yet, they can use the standard www.hart.gov.uk/local-plan-consultation-2016 to submit their response.

The consultation will be open until 4pm on Friday 18 March so now is the time to have your say on future development in this part of Hampshire.