Should the UK abolish Stamp Duty Land Tax?

A new report from the Adam Smith Institute lays out compelling reasons for the abolishment of the Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) in the UK.

There are arguments to support the idea that stamp duty on the sale of property is jamming the housing market, forcing people to stay in houses that are too large for them, and preventing people from moving areas to access the jobs they need. The report states that stamp duty is the most damaging tax in the UK, and that the Chancellor should have scrapping it at the top of the agenda in the run up to November’s budget. Continue reading

Where Are The UK’s Next Property Hotspots?

Hometrack, a research group which analyses the UK’s property market, has released a ground-breaking new study, showing where British residential real estate values have climbed over the past year and decade. Drawing on this research, Richard Carr asks: where are the UK’s next property hotspots?

Booming market

sold-signs-richard-carrThe UK’s residential property market is going from strength to strength. Despite the UK’s recent decision to leave the EU, which many experts believed would dent market activity, the sector kept on growing. In a survey of Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors members, 8% said they saw buyer enquiries increase since September 2016. In June, before the vote, 34% said that they experienced a fall in enquiries.

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Uk’s average house price is now eight times more than the average wage

London’s housing crisis continues to worsen as the latest research suggest that the majority of housing in the least affordable areas of London is on average eight times the cost of the average UK wage, writes property developer Richard Carr.

London

Richard Carr's luxury home image

The housing value vs wage ratio continues to grow

According to eMoov, London as a whole has average house prices which succeed the average wage by 14 times!

Unsurprisingly, both London and Kensington top the list with the average property price at £1.2m. The price of property in the borough is a ridiculous 46 times the average wage of £26,624 and the nation’s biggest gap in wage to property ratio by a long way.

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UK’s Property Market experiences growth post-Brexit

Following eight months of steady progress the UK’s residential property market is picking up with prices and buyer demand rising, writes property developer Richard Carr.

Growth

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Property market enjoying post Brexit growth

According to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), 8% of surveyors reported an increase in buyer enquires in September 2016, which is a significant turnaround based on June when a net balance of 34% of respondents report a drop.

Despite this small positive there’s still the major use around the supply of new homes. As a result, the number of new instructions being received by agents fell once again meaning the average level of stock on estate agents books remains close to historic lows at just over 45 properties.

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First time buyers rush to take advantage of Help to Buy

Following the announcement that the government is to scrap the Help to Buy mortgage guarantee there has been a significant rise in the number of valuations for first time buyers, writes Poole-based property developer Richard Carr.

Deadline

First time buyers - Richard Carr

First time buyers rush to take advantage of Help to Buy mortgage

The mortgage guarantee ends at the year and the number of first time buyers requesting valuations has rising sharply since Chancellor Philip Hammond’s announcement.

According to Connells Survey and Valuation, the number of valuations for first time buyers rose by 18.7% in September on an annual basis.

John Bagshaw of Connells Survey & Valuation believes that many first time buyers are aiming to use the scheme before it closes at the end of December, however he doesn’t think first time buyer activity will suddenly drop at the start of 2017.

Richard Carr hopes that the government are able to benefit first time buyers by building more homes as a result of removing the Help to Buy mortgage guarantee.

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In which areas should new housing be prioritised?

The Housing and Finance Institute (HFI) has sparked a new debate into which areas in the UK new housing should be focused upon.

Investment

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Where should new housing be prioritised?

Richard Carr, a Poole-based property developer, believes that investment into new housing should be spread fairly across towns, cities and counties in the UK. The Housing and Finance Institute believes more money should be given to councils in districts that are leading the way as they are currently under resourced.

According to the Institute, large cities in the UK receive higher amounts of investment, however they are responsible for only around 30% of new homes.

The HFI’s report found that around 70% of new homes and granted planning permissions are in the district and unitary councils, who are facing resource problems.

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Property supply on the up as more new homes enter the market

Despite the trials and tribulations that many developers and house builders face in the UK, supply in the country’s housing market reached its highest level since March this year, writes property developer Richard Carr.

Supply

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Property supply on the up – but will it continue?

The number of new homes available to buyers increased by 41% in August, which is the highest level experienced by estate agents since March 2016 when there was an average of 54 properties registered per branch.

This has resulted in there being an increase in the number of first time buyers with the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) reporting that the number of sales made to new property owners increased in August from 25% of total sales in July to 28%.

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Who should pay Stamp Duty tax?

Yorkshire Building Society (YBS) has reignited the stamp duty debate by urging the government to reform the property tax so that it is paid for by the seller rather than the buyers, writes property developer Richard Carr.

Reform

Richard Carr Stamp Duty

Who should pay Stamp Duty?

The building society believes that changing the way stamp duty is paid will help first time buyers get on the property ladder and those at the bottom move up it.

YBS estimated that changing the way the property tax is paid upon completion would save first time buyers in England, Wales and Ireland an average of £3,791, whilst Londoners would save an impressive £13,171.

The building society’s findings and recommendations have been submitted formally to the government ahead of the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement, which is due in November.

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London Mayor launches scheme to help first time buyers

Mayor Sadiq Khan is building on his commitment to provide more affordable homes by launching a new tenancy scheme to help renters save money for their home deposit, writes property developer Richard Carr.

London Living Rent

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Can the Mayor help improve the housing situation in London?

The London Mayor made making London more affordable to live in one of his commitments when he took over from Boris Johnson earlier this year. The early details of the London Living Rent outline proposals to help average earners in London save for a deposit by offering them a below market rent based a third of average household incomes in each borough.

Although the scheme is in its infancy, Khan has already began discussions with housing associations and boroughs to kick start the delivery of new homes.

On top of his tenancy scheme, the Mayor has also signalled his intention to protect London’s stock of social housing for those on low incomes.

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Plans for London’s largest residential regeneration approved

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has given the green light to plans for the single largest regeneration development site in the capital.

Brownfield

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How the new scheme will look fully developed

The 10,000 new homes plan on a 180 hectare brownfield site in Barking will deliver approximately 5,000 affordable properties.

The affordable homes, located on the northern banks of the River Thames, will be available to rent and buy for first time buyers.

Khan is keen to offer more affordable homes in the capital and has agreed a scheme that includes a minimum of 35% affordable from the outset, but with provisions to raise this to 50% over time through additional investment and viability reviews.

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