Writing this on the 19th, we are now fully and completely booked out for the end of March (2016). There isn’t a single bit of space, and we are intact turning work away, and even still taking Newcastle removals and storage enquiries for dates that we have been booked out on for weeks. There appears to be a clear reason for this, the changes to stamp duty coming into effect on 1st April 2016.
In a recent budget, it was announced that stamp duty would be rising on this date for anyone purchasing a buy-to-let or second home. Naturally there isn’t too much call for a Newcastle removals company when it comes to buy-to-let properties, that isn’t the only factor to take into account. Anyone purchasing a second (plus) property, is going to be liable to this additional Stamp Duty, and on a typical £300,000 home, that amounts to £9.000.
It only takes one person in the chain to be either purchasing a second or buy to let home for this to become a major factor. If just one person in a 5 property chain wants to avoid this charge, it is going to force everyone within that chain to need to move on or before the 31st of March, hence the manic rush!
Dan and myself were in the office until 7pm last night, taking calls, finalising dates, and securing slots. It’s manic, and whilst we would never complain, it is a bit frustrating from our point of view that everyone wants to move at the same time!
It always staggers us just how little advice there is out there about the buying/selling/conveyancing process in general. As we regularly say, moving house isn’t a regular occurrence, and it is easy to get caught out.
This extends into the new changes introduced to stamp duty, mainly that it isn’t going to affect anyone that isn’t buying a second home, or in a chain with someone who is!
A final point is that with how the system works in England, it only takes one difficult member of the chain to cause everyone problems; and communication along the chain is conducted through solicitors, who are famously very busy people.
We don’t know exactly what it is, but there must be a better way of doing it. Scotland have, in our eyes, a much better system which I’ll go into in more depth in a later post.