Business as usual?

Friday, 13th November, 2020
business as usual

As 2020 continues to upend the entire world in one way or another, the use of the word ‘usual’ has become – well, unusual.

In fact, there really hasn’t been anything usual about this year at all; whether it’s global pandemics or global politics, things have unquestionably been very different from what we’ve become used to.

However, despite the uncertainties caused by the current pandemic and the rules and regulations associated with the latest national lockdown, one thing is certain – the housing market remains open for business as usual.

According to Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick, homeowners are able to move and estate agents should continue operating. Of course, things will be different and, in the case of property viewings, virtual viewings are likely to increase, but the important point is that those looking to move should keep on looking, and those applying for a mortgage should keep on applying.

Realistically, ‘Is now a good time to move?’ and ‘Is now a good time to get a mortgage?’ are probably more pertinent questions for those thinking of buying a property.

As a Guildford mortgage broker, we saw first-hand how the first national lockdown caused a bottleneck effect when the housing sector temporarily closed. People still need to get a mortgage and move, after all.

This time around things are different, not only because the sector is open and government is actively encouraging people to move if they need to, but also because the Chancellor announced a stamp duty holiday on properties up to £500,000 (and therefore a potential property tax saving of up to £15,000), provided that completion takes place by 31st March 2021 *. ­­

As a result, you have a housing sector that’s open as usual and the equivalent of a discount on the cost of moving available for the next few months.

So yes, now is a good time to move and apply for a mortgage. But let’s be honest, it’s more business as unusual than business as usual.

If you’re hoping to take advantage of the stamp duty holiday then contact the Complete Mortgages team on 01483 238280 or email info@complete-mortgages.co.uk. Remember, we specialise in ALL mortgages from first time buyer mortgages and equity release mortgages, to adverse credit mortgages and commercial mortgages.

* https://www.gov.uk/guidance/stamp-duty-land-tax-temporary-reduced-rates

If you purchase a residential property between 8 July 2020 to 31 March 2021, you only start to pay SDLT on the amount that you pay for the property above £500,000. These rates apply whether you are buying your first home or have owned property before.


Stamp duty holiday delivers big bonus for buy to let investors

Wednesday, 22nd July, 2020
Stamp duty holiday

After years of calm – not to mention generous returns for property investors – the buy to let property market hit choppy waters in 2016 when ex-Chancellor George Osborne made it harder for investors to profit from multiple properties via a series of taxes.

The short, sharp shock included a stamp duty tax surcharge on additional properties and the scrapping of tax relief on mortgage interest payments. Four years later and following a recent announcement by the current Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, on 8 July, buy to let mortgages are back in the spotlight.

As a mortgage broker in Guildford, we’ve seen a surge in buy to let mortgage enquiries in only the last few days since the Chancellor announced a stamp duty tax holiday on properties up to the value of £500,000.

Although the 3% stamp duty surcharge is still in play for property investors and second homeowners, there will be no further duty on the first £500,000 of the property’s value.

So, if you’re a property investor that’s about to purchase a £500,000 property, then the duty payable will be £15,000 instead of what would have been £30,000. Equally, if you’re looking to buy a property for £250,000, then instead of paying 3% on the first £125,000 and then 5% on the remainder, which amounts to £10,000, you’ll now only pay £7,500.

An eight-month window

Although there is great uncertainty around the economy, there is certainty as to when the stamp duty tax holiday will end given how the Chancellor has announced that it will come to a close on 31 March 2021.

Our view is that if you’ve been thinking about getting a buy to let mortgage – or have been sitting on the fence about whether or not to apply for a buy to let mortgage – then last week’s news provides a golden opportunity to save money in tandem with making your next investment.

And not only are there still a number of competitive buy to let mortgage deals on the market, but also Complete Mortgages has ready access to them, too.

The buy to let market is back. Take advantage of it while you can.

If you’re looking for award-winning buy to let mortgage advice or would like to find out what buy to let mortgages are available to you, then contact our buy to let mortgage team on 01483 238280 or email info@complete-mortgages.co.uk.

By Mark Finnegan at Complete Mortgages


Stamp duty cut could save you £15,000

Thursday, 9th July, 2020

The last few months have been turbulent, to say the least. And if you’re anything like me, then you’ve probably lost track of the countless bailouts, measures and financial packages that have been announced in order to get the UK’s economy back on track.

However, one measure that was announced yesterday by Chancellor Rishi Sunak as part of the Summer Statement is likely to stick firmly in the mind, particularly with those looking to apply for a mortgage and move home: the cut to stamp duty.

Prior to the announcement, stamp duty on the purchase of a main residence cost £1,500 on properties valued at £200,000; £5,000 on properties valued at £300,000; £10,000 on properties valued at £400,000, and £15,000 on properties valued at £500,000.

As of 8 July, stamp duty no longer applies to residential properties with a value up to £500,000 * – a move that is thought to affect up to 90% of UK homeowners. Not only that, but properties over £500,000 will also attract a much lower level of stamp duty, too.

It’s important to remember that this isn’t something that will stay around forever. In fact, it’s a stamp duty holiday – and one that will only last until 31 March 2021. The announcement, of course, has been designed to get the economy (and homeowners) moving, and with rates so attractively low – or non-existent in the case of purchases up to £500,000 – Complete Mortgages expects there to be a flurry of activity over the coming months.

It’s also important to note that, in real terms, the stamp duty holiday actually increases a homeowner’s purchasing power by effectively boosting their deposit. For example, if you’re looking to move home and your budget’s £500,000, then the £15,000 saved in tax can be used to increase the amount you’re putting down on the property. Rather than pay 3% in tax, you can increase your deposit by 3% – a double win that will be particularly welcomed by those looking for high loan to value mortgages.

Ironically, as a Guildford mortgage broker that has experienced its busiest June ever, we haven’t seen anything but a flurry of activity during the lockdown period. Still, we applaud the Chancellor’s bold move and we expect those applying for a mortgage in the UK will be equally appreciative.

So, the countdown is on. Will you take advantage of it?

UK homeowners now have nine months to benefit from the stamp duty holiday and reduce their property tax bill. If you’re looking to get a mortgage over the coming months, Complete Mortgages can help. Contact us on 01483 238280 or email info@complete-mortgages.co.uk to begin your mortgage application.

* the 3% higher rate for purchases of additional dwellings (including buy to lets) applies on top of revised standard rates above for the period 8 July 2020 to 31 March 2021.