Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, has announced a ‘holiday’ on stamp duty up to 31st March 2021.
This is part of a Coronavirus recovery package to kick start the housing market following the lockdown period.
Stamp duty will be axed for any property purchase below £500,000. This is to be kept in place for the next eight and a half months and starts immediately from 8th July 2020.
Until now, home buyers pay zero stamp duty on the first £125,000 of the property value. They then pay the tax on two per cent of the value of the home up to £250,000 and five per cent on the next £675,000.
First time buyers are already exempt from stamp duty up to £300,000 outside London and £450,000 in London.
This could potentially save home movers and property investors thousands of pounds.
As a landlord renting a property to tenants, there are many rules and regulations that need to be adhered to. These also vary depending on how many tenants are living in the property.
One of the questions that often crops up when talking to us as letting agents is ‘do I need an EICR?’. Until June 2020, these EICR certificates were only compulsory if you were renting to tenants who made up more than two households, also known as an HMO.
Now though, the rules have changed.
Do you need an EICR?
From 1st June 2020, every property rented to tenants will require an EICR certificate.The rules state that:
The rules state that:
Electrical safety standards are met when the property is occupied by tenants.
Every fixed electrical installation at the property is inspected and tested at least every 5 years by a qualified person.
An inspection and test needs to be carried out before new tenancies commence from 1st June 2020.
An inspection and test will also be required for existing tenancies by 1st June 2021.
What is an EICR?
EICR stands for Electrical Installation Condition Report. Inspections and testing are carried out in accordance with the eighteenth edition of the wiring regulations BS 7671:2918. This is the national standard to which all domestic wiring must conform.
During the inspection, the following is tested:
The adequacy of earthing and bonding
Device protection against electric shock and fire
Any damage or wear and tear that may affect tenant safety
Identification of any damaged electrical fixings
Identification of any exposed wiring
EICR certificates last for 5 years but landlords are encouraged to re-test if there are changes to property electrics since the last inspection was carried out.
Who can carry out an EICR inspection?
Any qualified electrician should be able to carry out an EICR check.
Walton & Allen are able to carry out an inspection on your behalf and provide a certificate upon your property passing the inspection.
You can talk to us about this by calling 0115 924 3304 or by using this form below.
Rightmove recorded their busiest ever day on 27th May 2020.
Last week saw a new daily record for the most visits to the Rightmove website. They also received record buyer and renter enquiry volumes.
The website surpassed six million visits for the first time which was up 18 per cent on the same day in 2019. Email and telephone enquiries to agents were also up 18 per cent.
Rightmove state that over a quarter of people (28 per cent) who were not planning a move before the COVID-19 lockdown are now entering the market.
Why is this surge happening?
The UK government placed strict restrictions on those wanting to move throughout the COVID-19 lockdown. Now these restrictions have been lifted for estate and letting agents and those who need to move are now looking to do so imminently.
Another reason for the surge could be due to families spending more time together than usual. Some may now be looking to move due to fall outs or just deciding that they need more space.
People will always need to move and now seems to be a better time than ever to market your property, for sale or for rent.
Have property prices changed since ‘Lockdown’?
Property prices appear to remain strong throughout Nottingham.
Last month, property prices in Nottingham recorded a 0.0 per cent change, according to Hometrack. The average property price remains at £157,900.
Nottingham was second across the whole country for property price growth in the last three months. Prices grew 0.8 per cent.
The city was also first across the country for property price growth in the last 12 months. Prices grew by a huge 4.1 per cent.
How much is your property worth post-lockdown?
Find out how much your property is now worth by talking to our experts today for free. Call 0115 924 3304 or use the form below.
Property prices in the UK are still yet to be affected by the COVID-19 Coronavirus. This is despite the country grinding to a halt during the lockdown period and government recommendations which advise against moving home.
Data released by Nationwide shows that house prices increased annually by 3.7 per cent in April. It is important to note, however, that this data is based on mortgage approvals and many were submitted before Coronavirus took hold of the nation.
Of course, we are still living in uncertain times and property prices could change for the short term in the coming weeks. However, our own data also supports the positive statement released by Nationwide.
Here at Walton & Allen estate agents in Nottingham, we have seen little change in the market apart from an obvious slowdown. We are still receiving enquiries every day, agreeing sales and letting properties to tenants. People still need to move and our email inboxes certainly prove this point!
This suggests that as soon as lockdown restrictions are lifted, property transactions should return to normal fairly quickly. If the demand to buy property remains similar to the start of the year then we should see little reductions in prices across the UK property market as a whole.
We have produced over 25 video tours so far for both sales and lettings and will continue to produce more over the coming weeks.
If you are interested in any of our available properties, either to buy or to rent, please check with our team to see if a video is currently available.
Some are unlisted on YouTube for privacy and will only be made available upon request.
Here are a sample of our video viewings below.
Cavendish Road in Arnold, Nottingham
Hardstaff Road in Sneinton, Nottingham
What happens after viewing online?
If you have viewed a property online via video tour we are still accepting offers and reservations. Please get in touch with either our sales or lettings team to take the next steps to securing your dream property.
The Help To Buy scheme is set to be extended once the Cornavirus lockdown ends.
The scheme currently helps buyers or new build homes by providing them with a 20% property value equity loan. This was due to be phased out between Spring 2021 and 2023.
The idea behind the extension is to boost market confidence once the COVID-19 isolation period has ended.
Help To Buy has been a great help for many first time buyers. It has enabled many to move into better quality homes than they originally would have been able to buy with their savings alone.
Advice for first time buyers
Those looking to purchase their own first home this year should continue to look for their dream property during the pandemic. Walton & Allen are still receiving buyer enquiries and sales are still being agreed. We would encourage everyone to act now to avoid disappointment.
Many of our sales and lettings properties are available to view via video tour. Please email us for more details whilst our offices are closed.
How is the current crisis effecting the housing market?
Everyone has an opinion on the housing market, whether or not they work in the estate agency industry. Well, my experience over the last 25 years is that most predictions get it wrong. There seems to be a habit of talking down the market whether it be Brexit, a national vote or referendum or indeed a global pandemic. The past few decades show the market has its ups and downs but the general overall trend is the market goes up and prices go up in the long term.
With the country now in lockdown and many agents temporarily closing, it is almost impossible to get to view a house. Everything is on hold. Yet Rightmove are reporting a significant increase in traffic on its website. Why? Well it would seem there are some obvious factors. We are all at home and have access to the internet. Those of us that share a house with friends or relative, wish we had our own place, those of us with kids wish we had more space. Some wish they had less space and less would like to downsize, and some want to be closer to family. We would all love an independent income that an investment property provides.
The crisis, whilst terrible at the moment, will come to an end and when it does, the temporary halt on the market which has led to a build up of frustrated interest will boom.
Lets face it we have less to spend our money on. This could this mean people have the opportunity to save for a bigger deposit? The only thing that could change this is the mortgage market. The mortgage lenders appear to have suspended their deals at the moment, understandably so. But will this change when the crisis is over? It has never been cheaper to borrow, the bank of England base rate is at a record low, surely the lenders will take advantage of the current crisis and reboot their mortgage deals. We still do not have enough houses nationally and we are still not building enough to satisfy this demand.
So, despite everything and the doomsayers talking down the market, here’s my prediction. Once the current situation is finished there will be increased demand for property. Both residential and investment. Mortgage lenders will offer fantastic mortgage deals and people will want to move. So get looking, use this time to short list that ideal property and once the crisis is over get buying, prices are going to rise. There’s one thing to be sure, ‘We live in interesting times’.