Property news round-up

The low-down on the property headlines

The low-down on the property headlines - Credit: Archant

A look at the property headlines, as 2015 draws to a close...

Stamp duty revenues in 2014-15 surpass previous 2007-08 record: Increased property prices and a higher number of residential property transactions boosted stamp duty revenues by 16 percent between 2013-14 and 2014-15 to a new record high of £7.5 billion. This comfortably exceeded the previous high of £6.68 billion at the peak of the last housing market boom in 2007-08 and was more than 14 times as much as the £520 million raised by residential stamp duty 20 years ago in 1994-95.

Rightmove forecasts a good 2016: The seasonal 1.1 percent (-£3,120) dip in the price of property coming to market this month is the lowest December fall since 2006. It gives a final flourish to 2015’s strong property market, pushing the annual increase up to almost £20,000 and is a strong indicator that upwards price pressure will continue in 2016. Rightmove forecasts that despite the shortage of suitable stock in many parts of the market, demand for housing is on the up and prices will breach new records next year.

Home buyers benefit from stamp duty changes: The average home buyer is £4,500 better-off under the new progressive structure of stamp duty introduced on 4 December 2014, according to Halifax. Since the changes came into force a year ago the typical home buyer has paid a total of £3,676 in stamp duty (based on the current average UK house price of £273,5311). Under the previous flat structure, a buyer paying this price would have been subject to stamp duty payments of £8,205 – a saving of £4,529. The ‘tipping point’ price is £938,000, when a buyer is worse off under the new structure.

That 3 percent levy: Bernadette Oliver, Head of Savills Harpenden Lettings comments: “In his Autumn Statement, the Chancellor announced that from April 2016, there would be an additional 3 percent levy of stamp duty for buy-to-let investors. We anticipate that this may increase stock availability in the short-term as investors bring forward their planned purchases to beat the deadline. However, overall it is unlikely to have a significant impact on rental values or lettings stock. Landlords should be relieved by the news that they will be able to offset the increase in stamp duty when they onward sell, as the increased stamp duty levy would be deemed part of their acquisition costs.”