Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Time to Take Stock as Deadline for Stamp Duty Increase Looms

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Time to Take Stock as Deadline for Stamp Duty Increase Looms

Article excerpt

Byline: Anne Southby Fletcher

GEORGE Osborne's impending 3% stamp duty increase for owners of second homes has taxed the minds of many in the housing market.

And it isn't just landlords and second home owners who will bear the full force of April's changes. The effects are bound to ripple right across the sector, say experts.

Landlords will see stamp duty on, for example, a PS184,000 buy-to-let home rise to PS6,700 from its current PS1,180 level. And tenants who may see their rents increase could also to be affected.

GFW Letting regional operations manager Fran Mulhall said: "The vast majority of our clients only have a small stock of houses so it's no surprise that the new levy has got landlords and their agents worried. Faced with even more regulations, next month's right-to-rent checks and the removal of mortgage interest relief, along with an annual expense charge, 2016 already seems like a minefield of uncertainty for smallscale landlords."

Deborah Topping, sales director at Gateshead-based sales, lettings and property management company Fraser Lake, added: "Buy-to-let investors and anyone wishing to simply own a private second home are facing this extra cost.

"In addition, existing landlords who are thinking of selling their property portfolio to other investors may see a decrease in offers and value of offers.

"Rents may increase as landlord costs increase and also less investment in rental property could reduce the stock available."

So what, if anything, can be done to lessen the impact? The first solution is to try to beat the Chancellor's stamp duty deadline.

New business and marketing manager at Pattinson Auction Steve Greenwell explained: "The best way to get a sale through quickly is to take advantage of controlled timescales offered with the option of selling your property at auction. Once a buyer is found, contacts can be exchanged immediately and you can complete your sale in as little as 28 days."

Miss Topping added: "Choose an estate agent who has experience with the buy-to-let landlord investor market. …

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