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Vi Ramping Fest! Sales Of The Century! Stamp Duty Stampede

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Not seen this posted anywhere but the increase in stamp duty payable on properties over £1m from 4% to 5% has caused a glut of sales this week.

Evening Standard link

House sales rush to beat tax rise: Frenzy in London sparked by stamp duty increase

Jonathan Prynn and Mira Bar-Hillel

6 Apr 2011

Hundreds of millions of pounds changed hands in hours in a property scramble to beat the new five per cent stamp duty tax.

Buyers exchanged and completed seven-figure deals to save themselves thousands of pounds. One estate agent pushed through £90million of transactions, comparing it to the Premier League transfer window.

It came before today's "Worse-off Wednesday" tax and benefits squeeze that will cost London couples with children almost £4,000 a year.

The frenzy was triggered by a rise in the stamp duty rate for properties worth more than £1 million, which increased from four to five per cent at midnight.

London removal companies were fully booked and some vendors threw in their furniture to help make it easier for buyers to move.

Charlie Bubear of Savills' Knightsbridge office, said he had helped clients move potted plants from their garden and mop floors to help them move out in time for completion.

At least £30million of deals were struck by Savills in areas such as Clapham and Wandsworth, part of a total of £90million. Foxtons said it had around 10 central London homes that exchanged and completed yesterday. Guy Evans, head of sales at the Fulham office, said: "It was a very exciting day. We had three properties that exchanged and completed.

"Why the solicitors have to leave it right up to the wire is beyond me but I suppose these things just naturally drift towards the 11th hour."

Three houses were worth just under £5 million with £50,000 of tax saved. Savills said that it had seen "furious activity" as the deadline approached with the total value of sales beating the previous record set in July 2007.

Around £200 million of sales were completed in the past week including a £27 million property in Mayfair and a £26 million home in Sloane Street. Agents John D Wood said it had seen a 60 per cent increase in properties worth around £1 million in January and February as buyers realised the significance of the looming deadline.

It had 40 completions on properties over £1 million in the last two weeks alone.

A spokeswoman said: "We had one property in South Kensington which was due to complete before April 6 but, because of legal and technical issues, missed the deadline.

"As a result the seller had to reduce the price by one per cent to avoid losing the sale."

Mark Andrews of John D Wood's Richmond office said: "We needed to have sales agreed by mid-February to stand any chance of a realistic completion before April 6. Some sales were specifically agreed with the intention to complete before this deadline."

One couple who beat the deadline said the £13,000 they saved in tax made their dream home affordable. Account manager Michelle Shepherd, 35, and her banker husband Duncan, 37, who have two children, were looking to move from Twickenham to Surrey.

Ms Shepherd said: "We were acutely aware of the ticking stamp duty timebomb. We found a buyer who was offering £990,000 for our house. We then offered £1,290,000 on a house in Walton-on-Thames, where the asking price was £1,495,000.

"Happily it was accepted, as the developer also realised the stamp duty issue. We managed to complete on both sales on April 1. Saving the stamp duty was crucial, we simply didn't have that extra £13,000."

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Ms Shepherd said: "We were acutely aware of the ticking stamp duty timebomb. We found a buyer who was offering £990,000 for our house. We then offered £1,290,000 on a house in Walton-on-Thames, where the asking price was £1,495,000.

"Happily it was accepted, as the developer also realised the stamp duty issue. We managed to complete on both sales on April 1. Saving the stamp duty was crucial, we simply didn't have that extra £13,000."

I would suggest that anyone who cannot get hold of the relatively small sum of £13k should not be buying a house for £1.29 million.

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I would suggest that anyone who cannot get hold of the relatively small sum of £13k should not be buying a house for £1.29 million.

The £13K stamp duty will be the least of their worries in a year or two. Lambs to the slaughter <_<.

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I would suggest that anyone who cannot get hold of the relatively small sum of £13k should not be buying a house for £1.29 million.

If their previous mortgage was paid off then their new mortgage would be £300k with stamp duty payable of £52k, with an LTV of less than 25%. They're probably people who like to pump every last penny into their pwoperdee.

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Is this the reason why March indices have been positive?

Is this a turning point that is finally going to bring the London market down?

Next few weeks could be very interesting.

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Is this the reason why March indices have been positive?

Is this a turning point that is finally going to bring the London market down?

Next few weeks could be very interesting.

I think it is yes, although there is no way of knowing for sure. The next couple of months indices should be nicely negative if this did have an effect.

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  • 312 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

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      • down 5% +
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