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House Prices

U.K. home prices declined at the start of the year, underscoring predictions for a slowdown in 2017, according to Halifax.

Values fell 0.9 percent from a month earlier, posting their first slide since August, the mortgage lender said. While values in the three months to January rose an annual 5.7 percent, that’s almost half the 10 percent peak seen in March.  Halifax expects price growth to slow to between 1 percent and 4 percent by the end of the year.

“U.K. house prices continue to be supported by an ongoing shortage of property for sale, low levels of house building, and exceptionally low interest rates,” said Martin Ellis, an economist at Halifax, in a statement with the report.  “Nonetheless, weaker economic growth and increasing pressure on spending power, along with affordability constraints, are expected to dampen housing demand, resulting in some downward pressure on annual house price growth during the year.”

The average British house price last month was 220,260 pounds and supply remains very low as sellers stay put, according to Halifax.  Across the U.K., new sales listings failed to pick-up in December for a 10th month, leaving stock levels close to a record low and constraining market activity, the report said.


Even so, Halifax estimates the number of first-time buyers climbed 7 percent last year to the highest level since the start of the financial crisis in 2007.



Christmas Opening Hours 2016


Friday 23rd December

9am  -  1pm

Christmas Eve Day (24th December)


Christmas Day (25th December)


Monday (26th December)


Tuesday (27th December)

10am – 12pm

Wednesday (28th December)

10am – 12pm

Thursday (29th December)

10am – 12pm

Friday (30th December)

10am – 12pm

New Year’s Eve (31st December)


New Year’s Day (1st January )


Monday (2nd January)


Tuesday (3rd January and onwards)

Open as normal

9am – 5:30pm



If you require a viewing or a question on a sales property, please call Mark on: 07974 216 932


If you have an URGENT lettings problem, please contact the emergency mobile of: 07732 775 320


Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!



Image result for Free Christmas pictures


‘There’s nothing more rewarding  

than giving back and making  

a difference in the lives of 

people in this great community’


Frank Guzzetta


Instead of sending cards, we have chosen to donate a sum of money to

The James Hopkins Trust.

From all at Charterhouse, may we wish you a Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.





On The Market


The number of prospective buyers in the UK housing market has increased for the third consecutive month, according to the Rics Residential Market Survey.

The survey of chartered surveyors showed 13 per cent reported an increase in new buyer enquiries rather than a fall.

However, the survey showed supply shortages are leading to only a modest growth in sales activity and there has been a further decline in the amount of homes for sale.

Surveyors expect the beginning of 2017 to be quiet reflecting the lack of fresh properties coming to market.

As stock reduces the outlook for house price growth over the year to come is positive across the UK, with a net balance of 40 per cent of respondents forecasting a rise.

There is less confidence in the prospects for London property prices relative to other areas, with larger properties in the capital expected to show the slowest price growth.

The survey show that tax changes are still weighing heavily on the London market. The government has made tax increases on property at multiple levels, effecting developers and investors alike. The 3% stamp duty hike on buy to let has been negative; many new investors are looking  to make use of companies as a route into the market. Charterhouse can provide specialist advice on this.

A key issue for the housing market is the slowdown in transaction activity since the spring, which is clearly being reflected in the Rics agreed sales data as well as in official figures.

Stock levels are around historic lows we expect any pick-up in activity to be gradual. 



Ten key points to consider when buying a second home for your own use or as a buy-to-let investment 

To buy-to-let or not to buy-to-let, that is a difficult question! It can be quite a conundrum for people with capital to invest who are dithering between the stock market or bricks and mortar.

Since April 1 – as many homeowners will be aware – a stamp duty surcharge of three per cent has been levied on second homes with obvious implications for the buy-to-let sector. If you are contemplating a second home, whether for your own use or as a buy-to-let investment, here are the 10 key points to bear in mind.

1. Stamp duty – or to give it the full title, stamp duty land tax (SDLT) – is a tax paid by homebuyers when they purchase property or land. The tax is banded so that no tax is levied on properties worth less than £125,000, but £7,500 on a property worth £350,000 and £43,750 on a property worth £1million, and so on.

2. Since April 1 second homes have been subject to a three per cent stamp duty surcharge. Under the banding system, second homes worth less than £125,000 now attract three per cent tax instead of zero. Those worth between £125,000 and £250,000 now have a five per cent rate rather than two per cent, and so on. At the top end of the scale, second homes worth in excess of £1.5million attract 15 per cent stamp duty rather than 12 per cent.

3. Visit the government’s stamp duty calculator to work out tax liabilities.

4. Second homes – for the purposes of the stamp duty surcharge – are homes other than a main residence whether they are let or not. It does not matter if a main residence is overseas because a second home in the UK will still be subject to the stamp duty surcharge. However, a buy-to-let property will not attract the higher rate if the main residence is rented, not owned.

5. Homebuyers helping a family member buy a property will still be treated as second home owners and the relatives will be liable for the surcharge.

6. Anyone owning two homes because they have bought a new one, but not yet sold the old home, will have to pay the three per cent surcharge. But if the old home is sold within three years, the three per cent will be refunded.

7. No one will be able to escape the higher rates of stamp duty by ‘flipping’ properties which is defined as moving into a new home, designating it a main residence, then letting out the old home.

8. Couples who have separated, but not yet divorced, and own two properties between them, will not be treated as second homeowners. But couples living together, whether married or not, will be treated as one unit. They will not be able to buy a second home and escape the surcharge by putting one property in one partner’s name and one in the other’s.

9. Stamp duty is not payable on caravans, mobile homes or houseboats.

10. It is sometimes possible to reduce stamp duty liabilities by designating a property, whether the main home or a second home, ‘mixed-use’: i.e. used for both residential and commercial purposes, such as running a small business. But this can also expose the homeowner to higher business rates and higher rates of capital gains tax. If in doubt, talk to an accountant or mortgage provider about tax liabilities.

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