In the Autumn Statement 2015, the Chancellor George Osborne dropped something of a bombshell for BTL investors and people who wanted to acquire a second or holiday home.
From 1st April 2016, there will be a stamp duty surcharge of 3% on purchases of investment properties and 2nd homes.
This is a significant amount of extra money to find to complete a purchase. Citing an example: a typical purchase price of £100k will add £3k in upfront costs which is on top of existing costs such as solicitors, disbursements, stamp duty and mortgage costs (if applicable).
Right now, there is a window of opportunity to sell a property before this potentially "deadens' the market.
At Open Property Group, we have spoken to several of our estate agent contacts in the North of England and they believe that these raises will impact prices, especially on low value properties where yields already need to be 8%+.
Landlords in particular are already rushing to BUY property before the deadline, which means that for some, it might be a good time to sell to achieve the highest possible price before the market potentially declines in April.
Indeed, the rush to buy investment properties before the April 1 stamp duty surcharge deadline have been cited as the reasons why mortgage borrowing rose unexpectedly sharply in the run-up to Christmas.
The number of mortgage loan approvals for house and apartment purchases rose to 70,837 in December - the increase was against the usual end-of-year trend and compares with an average of 69,462 over the previous six months.
So how can you benefit from this window of change, and see it as an opportunity?
Here are Open Property Group, with 30 years of experience, we always look for angles and see opportunity when others see threat.
OPG Director, Jason Harris comments:
"We have reviewed our own personal property portfolio and are cashing in poorly performing properties quickly now, to release the equity, wait for the market to soften after April, and then buy some better performing properties at a discounted price.
At the very least, we can expect prices to soften by at least the stamp duty surcharge amount, and we believe that the stamp duty surcharge will be a great bargaining tool to get a discount because there will be fewer buyers of certain types of property".
So perhaps you have a poorly performing property, and want to follow this strategy by cashing it in now? If so, you have until the 31st of March to complete.
Here at OPG we are always open to a speedy transaction and will consider buying badly performing properties, properties with sitting tenants, short leases, non-standard construction, derelict, in need of refurbishment.
So, if you want to sell a property to invest in a better performing asset, then do consider our cash buying service which can be guaranteed to complete well before the 31st March, putting you in pole position to be ready to buy when there are bargains to be had!
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