The cost of stamp duty on homes up to £500,000 has been suspended, potentially saving future house buyers tens of thousands of pounds.
The Chancellor, Mr Sunak announced he has decided to cut stamp duty, telling the Commons: “Right now, there is no stamp duty on transactions below £125,000.
“The average stamp duty bill will fall by £4,500. And nearly nine out of 10 people buying a main home this year, will pay no stamp duty at all.”
Click here for the Government Stamp Duty Calculator https://www.tax.service.gov.uk/calculate-stamp-duty-land-tax/#/intro
We currently have 47 properties to chose from that are Stamp Duty Exempt under the new rules. Contact us today for help to find your new home.
The government has amended the coronavirus (COVID-19) regulations to make clear that people who wish to move home can do so. This guidance provides important public health information to ensure that moving home and key activities around this, such as viewing property, can happen safely.
It is important that everyone knows how to stay alert, contain the virus and save lives. Our success containing the virus so far has been hard fought and hard won. We must proceed with the utmost care in the next phase, and avoid undoing what we have achieved. One of the simplest steps you can take when moving home is to wash your hands frequently and wherever possible stay at least 2 metres apart from people who are not members of your household.
This document does not represent a return to normality. The process of finding and moving into a new home will need to be different given those involved in the process will have to adapt practices and procedures to ensure that the risk of spread of coronavirus is reduced as far as possible. This will include doing more of the process online, such as virtual initial viewings; vacating your current property whilst other people are shown around; and ensuring your property is thoroughly cleaned before someone else moves in.
We encourage all parties involved to be as flexible as possible over this period and be prepared to delay moves, for example if someone becomes ill with coronavirus during the moving process or has to self-isolate. It may also become necessary to pause all home moves for a short period of time to manage the spread of the coronavirus. We will let you know if this has to happen.
You should consider whether you need to make provisions in contracts to manage these risks. You should not expect to move into any home where people have coronavirus or are self-isolating.
More detail on progressing the individual elements of the home buying and selling or rental process and how this applies to different groups is set out in the next section.
We recognise people who are shielding or otherwise vulnerable may also have pressing needs to move home; however, this should be balanced with the increased risks presented by coronavirus.
In line with government’s advice, those who are shielding or otherwise clinically vulnerable should ensure they are aware of the medical advice, including on staying at home and avoiding unnecessary contacts over this period, if at all possible. All parties involved in home buying and selling should prioritise agreeing amicable arrangements to change move dates for individuals in this group, or where someone in a chain is in this group.
Clinically vulnerable and shielded individuals (ie those who have received a letter advising they are in the clinically extremely vulnerable group) will need to carefully consider their personal situation and the circumstances of their own move and may wish to seek medical advice before deciding whether to commit to or go ahead with a move. Some moves are likely to be lower risk - for instance if the home is empty, all travel can take place in their own transport and they can avoid contact with others.
We would encourage everyone in these categories who does intend to move, to make clear their status to all of the professionals involved in the process. They may be able to implement additional precautionary measures to further protect you.
Moving home is not appropriate whilst you pose a direct risk of transmitting coronavirus. People who have coronavirus or are self-isolating with their family member should not leave their home to either move home, or undertake property viewings.
If you are contractually committed to move home, you should delay your move until all members of your household have come to the end of their self-isolation period. All parties involved in home buying and selling should prioritise agreeing amicable arrangements to change move dates for individuals, or where someone in a chain or their family member is self-isolating or has tested positive for coronavirus.
Should a move be essential for people in this category, for instance due to an urgent health and safety risk, please contact Public Health England/local public health teams for advice.
People are free to move home, however the process of finding and moving into a new home is likely to be different, as those involved in the process will need to adapt practices and procedures to ensure that the risk of spread of coronavirus is reduced as far as possible. It is vital that everyone stays alert and safe.
Everyone involved in the moving process must follow social distancing to minimise the spread of the virus.
You can put your home on the market and start to look for properties you want to move into. If any member of the household being viewed is showing symptoms or is self-isolating then estate agents should not physically visit the property.
People should use virtual viewings before visiting properties in person where possible, in order to minimise public health risks. If any member of either the household being viewed, or the household undertaking a viewing is showing symptoms of coronavirus or is self-isolating, then a physical viewing should be delayed. All viewings should take place by appointment and only involve members of a single household.
You are free to make or accept an offer or reserve a property as normal.
Your legal representative should be able to carry out searches on your property online in order to progress your transaction and you can contact them to discuss likely timescales.
Your surveyor can undertake surveys of the property you wish to purchase.
Once you have agreed to move home by exchanging contracts or signing a tenancy agreement, you have entered into a legal agreement to move. We encourage all parties to be as flexible as possible over this period and be prepared to delay moves if needed, for example if someone becomes ill with coronavirus during the moving process or has to self-isolate. You should not expect to move into any home where people are ill or self-isolating.
Removal firms are able to operate, although they may need to adjust usual procedures in order to ensure moves happen as safely as possible.
We have full access to emails, operating systems and where appropriate, calls by phone, WhatsApp etc.
Even though we can’t visit you at this time, we are still able to value your home by live video link. HIT THE REQUEST A VIDEO VALUATION TAB and then we will be in touch to provide a unique LIVE Harrison Brant Valuation.
The Law Society has published updated guidance for conveyancers in England, reinforcing that home moves into occupied properties should only take place in situations where contracts have been exchanged and deferral is impossible.
Moves into unoccupied properties may continue, with conveyancers helping clients to consider the current Public Health England advice. Plus, after looking at the deferring transaction advice and the wishes of the client are that a move must take place, they must provide this in writing. Agents must advise their clients that police emergency powers do not apply for critical home moves.
If it is known or suspected that previous occupants or someone they have been in contact with has Coronavirus it is advised a deep clean should be undertaken.
The Law Society, Society of Licensed Conveyancers, Conveyancing Association, CILEx, and Bold Legal Group, have agreed on the outline of a process for deferring a completion date where an existing contract is in place, allowing for tailoring to individual needs.
A two-step process is recommended allowing for a delayed move at the end of the current stay-at-home period but also for an extension to this period if the Government restrictions are extended.
The Law Society has identified a range of scenarios that may arise for clients, such as:
Further considerations are in the Law Society Guidance.
Transactions can continue in the stay-at-home period and the Law Society advises careful consideration before instructing a conveyancer to exchange contracts. Where the instruction is given to exchange, conveyancers should incorporate a suitable clause in the contract to cover any ongoing risks caused by the virus.
The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has issued guidance on buying and selling homes during the stay-at-home period, urging all parties involved in home moving to adapt and be flexible to alter their usual processes.
We have moved our updates from the news page to a more prominent position for ease of access.
We have full access to emails, operating systems and where appropriate, calls by phone, WhatsApp etc. Even though we can’t visit you at this time, we are still able to value you home by live video link. HIT THE REQUEST A VIDEO VALUATION TAB and then we will be in touch to provide a LIVE Harrison Brant Valuation.
Update 27th March
The Government have published some clearer advice in respect of the above.
In simple terms, they have rightly paused the sales process and due to this, lenders are working to extend mortgage offers.
Where contacts have been exchanged, the move date should be deferred, with a new completion date to be mutually agreed by the chain. If new a date can’t be agreed and safety guidelines can be observed, then the move may be able to proceed.
If the move is simple single transaction to an empty dwelling, then this can proceed so long as the safety guidelines are observed. Again this assumes that contracts have already been exchanged.
Our view is that buyers and sellers should remain committed to their transactions whilst there is a delay to the process. Should you have any concerns or queries, please feel free to contact us via the usual email addresses.
We have moved our updates from the news page to a more prominent position for ease of access.
In light of the current Government guidance, all colleagues that were remaining in the offices are now working from home and the offices are temporarily closed.
We have full access to emails, operating systems and where appropriate, calls by phone, WhatsApp etc. Even though we can’t visit you at this time, we are still able to value you home by live video link. HIT THE REQUEST A VALUATION TAB and then ready to sell now and we will be in touch to provide a LIVE Harrison Brant Valuation.
We are continuing to deliver our multi-award winning services and fully market our client’s properties. Should you wish to view a property, please do let us know and once we are able to facilitate viewings we will be in touch.
In the interim, do feel free to contact the team via our usual email addresses or from the registration and or contact us page of our website and we will provide any information or advice that you may require.
Please note that the teams will do their very best to respond to you in an efficient manner. However, response times may be a little longer than usual.
In accordance with Government advice, we are all working from home.
Do feel free to contact us via our usual email addresses or from the registration and or contact us page of our website.
20 March 2020
I would like to reassure you that we are open for business, adopting a business as usual policy albeit in unusual times. In order to do this, I have implemented changes in the way we operate.
From today, I have put in place a number of contingency plans that include home working and adopting technology including video tour viewings and conferencing in order that we may continue to offer our award-winning customer service.
Please be assured that my first priority is to protect our customers, my teams at Harrison Brant and Osborn Humphreys, our lettings brand.
This also means that I require the assistance of all sellers, landlords, applicants and tenants who should let us know should there be any reason in accordance with the Government’s current guidelines, for us NOT to conduct viewings and/or appointments of any kind. This also applies to our teams, contractors, surveyors etc.
I wish to limit the possibility of spreading the virus and with this in mind, I require all parties to confirm by email, at the time of making appointments, there is no reason for us not to do so. Should there be a change in your health or those connected to you, prior to the appointment, please let us know. Thank you in advance for your co-operation and understating on this.
I would ask that where possible, you contact us by phone or email rather than visiting the offices. Please note that the teams will do their very best to respond to you in an efficient manner. However, response times may be a little longer than usual.
I am continuing to monitor the situation and will keep you advised should there be any necessary changes to the above.
Keith Harrison MNAEA