Date Published 22 February 2012
Local Guild estate agent Lesters are advising that the next few weeks could be an ideal time to buy a property, particularly for first time buyers who do not want to be affected by the removal of the stamp duty relief next month on 24th March.
For those in the fortunate position to be able to move quickly, Lesters offer some expert tips to consider.
Lloyds TSB reported last week that it now costs on average a whopping £9,000 to purchase a property. This is up some 14% on 2010, mainly due to rises in various fees and this will increase further for many people, especially first-time buyers, when the temporary Stamp Duty Relief is removed shortly.
An increased number of first time buyers have already taken advantage and beaten the stamp duty holiday with house sales edging up slightly during January, as reported in the latest RICS UK Housing Market survey. There is also evidence via Land Registry that prices of properties under £150k have recently been outperforming the overall market.
The removal of the Stamp Duty relief will mean that for properties costing between £125k and £250k, any purchaser will pay on average £1,800 more than they are currently (for a typical UK house valued at £161,000, the additional premium will be £1,600). The buyer should be aware that Stamp Duty is liable for the whole amount at the highest relevant fee, and is not applied in tranches.
Julian Walley M.N.A.E.A. M.A.R.L.A Senior Partner at Lesters comments that:
'whilst these costs are largely unavoidable, it is important that buyers explore these areas carefully to make sure they get the best value for their money.'
1.) Agency fees
You should read any agreements very carefully before signing; for example, some estate agency contracts state a relatively low percentage fee, but may also include a minimum cash sum that means you pay a higher amount than imagined.
Conveyancing costs vary widely, and it pays to seek out a professional solicitor who can offer great value and service. Your estate agent can usually recommend one to you, but you should consider sourcing at least one other quote to ensure that this is competitive. The same applies for other necessary costs such as surveyors and removals.
3.) Beware of the cheapest supplier!
There is much that can go wrong in a property transaction, and saving a few pounds could actually prove very expensive. Ask yourself how one company could be so much cheaper than the competition without having to make any unwelcome compromises.
4.) Stamp Duty
If you can move before the end of March, you could save up to £2,000.
Lesters are ideally placed to offer valuable advice and guidance on these areas – after all, there is no-one more motivated to help you move successfully!