Grab those great property deals this Christmas

Jan 13 09:53 2010 Lloyd Davies Print This Article

The weeks leading up to the Christmas holidays are traditionally a quiet time for the housing market, as would-be buyers and sellers settle in to count their pennies and make the best of what they have during the bleak midwinter.

But while most of the market slumbers its way through the festive season,Guest Posting those willing to go against the grain of conventional wisdom can take advantage of some excellent opportunities to invest in a new home at this time of year.

For first-time buyers and those on the lower rungs of the property ladder, it’s worth bearing in mind that the final weeks of 2009 represent the last chance to make the most of the Government’s money-saving ‘Stamp Duty Holiday’.

Under this initiative, any home costing up to £175,000 remains exempt from the usual 1% stamp duty charge – but only for completions taking place by December 31st, after which time the stamp duty-free threshold falls back down to its previous level of £125,000.

A top-end saving of £1,750 on the cost of moving to a new home may not seem like an awful lot, but there’s not a home-buyer out there who would turn down such discount when it means shaving valuable pounds from their mortgage rate.

While the Stamp Duty Holiday is one good reason to buy before 2009 is out, you only have to look at the fluctuations in house prices over the past 12 months to discover another.

After a lull during the early part of the year, house prices have staged a steady recovery since summer and many analysts predict this rise will continue into 2010.

According to the Nationwide House Price Index, the value of the average home went up by more than £10,000 between April and October – that’s an increase of nearly £1,700 every month. It doesn’t take a genius to work out that buyers who make their move now rather than resting on their laurels over Christmas are going to be the ones who reap the biggest benefits on their investments.

Quick moves?

But while it’s all very well extolling the virtues of making a quick move in the housing market, the best intentions of any aspiring home-buyer can count for nothing as soon as they put themselves at the mercy of the cumbersome mechanics of a slow-moving property chain.

That’s when buying a brand new home becomes a massive advantage, with housebuilders such as Taylor Wimpey, George Wimpey and Bryant Homes offering a wealth of incentives to make a speedy move incredibly straightforward.

For example, Taylor Wimpey’s part-exchange scheme lets movers with a home to sell instantly offload their existing property and receive its market value (the average of three independent valuations) off the purchase price of their brand new home.

Alternatively, the housebuilders can take away all the time-consuming hassle of selling a property on the open market by selling customers’ current homes for them in as little as two weeks, and also cover the cost of estate agents’ fees.

For first time buyers, Taylor Wimpey can help organise a low-rate loan through the Government’s Home Buy scheme, and can also pay towards the cost of legal fees, stamp duty and removals.
And even if their brand new home is not ready for a 2009 move, buyers at developments up and down the UK are still taking advantage of a raft of great benefits by acting quickly to secure their purchase.

Anyone who reserves their home now can enjoy the peace of mind of knowing that the agreed price is guaranteed – with the expectation that they can watch their investment grow as house prices continue to increase before they’ve even been handed the keys.

So, as 2009 draws to a close and we prepare to usher in 2010, forward-thinking buyers would do well to consider the advantages of making a shrewd move in the housing market before the current year is out.

There can’t be many better ways to make a fresh start for the New Year than by making a smart investment in a brand new home

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Lloyd Davies
Lloyd Davies

Article written by Lloyd Davies who is a qualified solicitor with over ten years experience and is the Legal Director of Convey Law.

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