August 2019 property news round-up: The PM’s stamp duty pledges, landlord ‘blacklist’ and more

This month we take a look at the latest property news including the city with the strongest growth in house prices, the new landlord ‘blacklist,’ the PM’s stamp duty pledges and more…

Liverpool, Nottingham and Cardiff house growth strongest in England and Wales

Liverpool, Nottingham and Cardiff are among the top cities experiencing the strongest growth in property values, according to Zoopla’s latest data.

House prices have risen year-on-year by 4.9% in Liverpool and 4.7% in both Nottingham and Cardiff. Conversely, Cambridge property values saw a slow growth of 0.3%. Bournemouth, Portsmouth, Oxford and Southampton also saw an overall property value growth of less than 1%. 

One of the biggest factors affecting property values is supply and demand. In southern cities, there are an average of 1.3 home entering the market for every sold property. But northern cities are currently experiencing a boom in sales, with an equal (or sometimes smaller) supply in housing. For each property coming onto the market in Liverpool, an average of one home is sold – essentially creating a “one in, one out” economy. 

PM announces stamp duty pledges 

Prime Minister Boris Jonhson announced three pledges related to Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) in a bid to encourage more people to become property owners.

He had pledged to increase the SDLT threshold from £125,000 to £500,000, reduce the top rate from 12% to 7% and suggested that sellers rather than buyers could pay the tax. 

The changes are designed to make the property market more accessible to first-time buyers, especially those looking to purchase a property for over £300,000. They would also benefit those looking to purchase a home for more than £1.5million.

However, the proposed change regarding sellers paying SDLT could mean homeowners end up paying the tax twice in their lifetime. 

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house prices growth august 2019

Housing market remains steady

Property values have steadily increased from 0.1% in June to 0.3% at the end of July.

The average price of a home in the UK is now at £217,663, compared to £213,618 in May 2018. Experts say these figures are surprisingly stable for a time of economic uncertainty. While London and the South East and seen house prices drop, the North has seen steady growth.

Russell Galley, managing director of Halifax, said: “While economic uncertainty continues to weigh on the market, the overall trend actually remains one of comparative stability, with average prices down by less than £600 over the last three months.”

“We have seen a reported drop off in the number of properties sold during the early months of summer, which may lead some to speculate a downturn is on the horizon. However, new buyer enquiries are up, and favourable mortgage affordability – driven by low interest rates and strong wage growth – should continue to underpin prices for the time being.”

landlord blacklist

Tenants soon able to access landlord ‘blacklist’

Tenants will soon be able to check the government’s ‘rogue landlord database’ as part of the government’s bid to stop no-fault evictions.

The database, currently only available to local authorities, contains the track records of landlords and letting agents who have been highlighted as bad landlords.

There are an estimated 10,500 rogue landlords in the UK, but only a small portion of them are on the database at present. There are also plans to reveal details of the landlords convicted of sex and drug offences. 

Former Communities Secretary, James Brokenshire, commented: “This database has the potential to ensure that poor-quality homes across the country are improved and the worst landlords are banned, and it is right that we unlock this crucial information for new and prospective tenants. Landlords should be in no doubt that they must provide decent homes or face the consequences.”