Anyone reading the financial papers over the past few weeks will be thoroughly confused by what is actually happening to property. For a start, are prices rising or falling? The Centre for Economics and Business Research says that by 2015 prices will have risen by 14% to a new all time high. Contrast this with the Fitch credit agency which says prices are still 25% too high with falls of 5-10% per year likely over the next two years. Meanwhile prices have either risen slightly or fallen over the summer depending on whether you believe the Land Registry, Nationwide or a number of other indicators.
The other question to be asked is just who is buying homes at present. According to the National Housing Federation, by 2021 overall home ownership will have fallen by 4% to 63.8% with only the rich being able to afford to get on to the housing ladder. The Federation blames a combination of low housing stock, high house prices and high rents making it harder for the first time buyer to raise the average £26,346 now needed as a deposit. Certainly the National Landlords Association is optimistic about the future with 65% of landlords reporting prospects as good or very good.
All this uncertainty means that those who are moving home need to be as careful as they can about paying the right price, finding the best mortgage package and keeping costs down. The mortgage market is tougher than ever with higher deposits being demanded; not to mention lenders now being able to check declared income against HMRC tax return records. One method of saving costs could be to look at ways of mitigating Stamp Duty Land Tax. With top rates at 5% for properties costing in excess of £1 million, there is a considerable incentive to keep at least one transaction cost as low as possible.
As tax mitigation and Stamp Duty Land Tax specialists Newshams are able to give advice on how tax may affect any private or business transaction and how to put in place an effective mitigation strategy.
Contact us now on 020 7470 8820 and ask to speak to a tax adviser about how we can reduce your tax costs or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get straight back to you.
6th September 2011