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Stamp seems to be the buzz word this month,with the Royal Mail raising the cost of a first class to 60 pence and the Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) being raised in last weeks budget. Everyone will have their own opinion on what the 2012 Budget changes to SDLT now at 7% for properties sold in excess of £2m, will have on the Country House market.
Of course no one really knows and the old adage “time will tell” is as true in this case as any.
The headline of my thoughts is this. It will create further slowdown in the short term in an already slow market place.
Well our high net worth clients have typically worked hard to earn their money and they don’t give it away lightly and begrudge giving it to the tax man who they already feel they contribute to significantly and see this new tax as an unfair tax on the rich.
I experienced this yesterday when a client called me to say that what with the continuing property price rises in London and now this extra tax he has had enough and he was stepping away from his search, as he just does not see property providing a good enough investment in the short to medium term
(I dared not remind him that if he had been an international buyer he could be paying 15%!) so for now he will sit out, watch and bide his time.
This I expect will be the stance for many in the short term whilst buyers adjust to this new cost.
However medium to long term, serious buyers will come back and buy. They won’t want to sit out for long as many are buying not purely for investment but also for life style. What might be more apparent in the early days is seeing buyers and sellers agreeing prices that in-effect splits the extra cost to facilitate a deal being done.
With the Spring market just starting to gather momentum this was not a good time for an extra cost like this, but then when is?. However, if quality stock is brought to either the open or private market place via agencies like Elite Property Search then I think even with the extra cost it will be hard for buyers to resist.
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