Hey big spenders, get in quick to beat the tax rise
Stamp duty is going up, and if you’re planning to spend millions, it means there is big money to be saved by acting fast. Sharon Dale reports.
A ONE per cent rise in stamp duty might sound paltry, but when it’s loaded onto properties over a million, it will add at least £10,000 to the cost of buying.
That’s what will happen from April 6 when the tax increases from four to five per cent on homes sold for more than £1m.
If you can’t quite meet the deadline, then you could follow the lead of one canny millionaire who is buying through Blenkin and Co. in York.
“He wanted to complete the deal by the end of March to avoid the rise in stamp duty, but the owner was unable to move before then, so they’ve come to an arrangement whereby the owner will sell, but continue to live there for a further few month on some form of rental agreement,” says Tim. “It’s a £1.5m house, so he’s saved £15,000.”
Anyone looking to purchase the most expensive house on the open market in Yorkshire, will need to act fast to beat the tax man, otherwise there will be an extra £50,000 to pay in stamp duty for luxurious Howsham Hall, near Malton.
The exquisite, grade one listed property has an asking price of £5m with joint agents Knight Frank and Savills. It’s just been relaunched after a sale fell through and is looking like a bargain. It was £6m earlier last year.
Howsham is an exquisite trophy house, with stunning interiors, including Doric columns, stucco friezes and contemporary wow factor. It comes with seven bedroom suites, a family and leisure wing, offices, staff accommodation and 83.5 acres, including fishing rights on the River Derwent. Interest in it has come from all corners of the globe.
“The higher the price and the higher the number of would-be buyers from outside Yorkshire, this is a national and international house,” says Tim Waring, of Knight Frank.
“We have had interest in it from Leeds, Europe, the Middle East and Australia.”
Properties between one and two million pounds appeal to wealthy locals and others looking to relocate from the South to Yorkshire. A quarter of buyers for top end houses are from outside the area.
They’re realising that it’s can be quicker to get to London from some parts of Yorkshire than it is from deepest Gloucestershire and Hampshire.
It’s now less than two hours on the train from York,” says Tim Waring. “You’ll usually find these people have some sort of link with the area and they want to come back to their northern roots or they want to send their children to school here. I’ve had three people from the City buying here recently for those reasons.”
The profile of local buyers has changed since the credit crunch from bankers, lawyers and accountants to business people and the self-made millionaires who want to enjoy the hard earned fruits of their labour.
“We are seeing a return to the traditional northern buyer, so the people who run small to medium-sized businesses. They’ve worked hard, are doing quite well and want to buy their dream, house,” says Tim Waring.
There are two properties new to the market that are set to excite a huge amount of interest from this kind of house hunter.
Hartmires in Leathley, between Otley and Harrogate costs £1.45m with Knight Frank. The elegant, five-bedroom country house set in two acres needs some updating, but is in stunning countryside close to Leeds.
Burley Hall in Burley-inWharfedale, near Ilkley, has a guide price of £2m with Dacre, Son and Hartley and Dove, Haigh, Phillips.
The Grade I listed house was built by the poet Thomas Maude in 1798 and is the former headquarters of home shopping, healthcare and education specialist Findel PLC.
Scarborough-based Broadland Properties bought Burley House from Findel in 2006, though the company remained as a tenant until recently.
The house, which comes with a mews building and coach house, could be converted back into a grand family home.
There will certainly be plenty of viewings. According to Savills, interest in luxury homes is high and sales went up by 80 per cent last year compared with 2009. They predict that a strong demand for and a shortage of supply will push prices up by five per cent over the next 12 months.
But the stamp duty rise will have a negative effect on some homes. “If someone thinks they can get £1.1m they’re mistaken. They might get a million. It’s the same with properties just over the £500,000 threshold, which always go for £500,000,” says Tim Blenkin.
“There’s also a dual market. Something exceptional in the best location or something very competitively priced will sell, whereas something more ordinary will stick.”
Good transport links: proximity to the big commercial centres is important for most buyers. They don’t want to live more than an hour’s drive away,
Tim Waring, of Knight Frank, says: “The golden triangle is as strong as ever. So Leeds, Ilkley, Harrogate and Wetherby, then Skipton, Ripon and York. That’s the core, but areas round the M62 corridor, especially Huddersfield and Halifax, together with the south of Wakefield and south of Sheffield are also desirable. Altogether it’s a diamond ring, rather than a golden triangle.
Good private schools: Prime properties around Ampleforth and anything with easy accessibility to St Peter’s in York are sought-after.
Value for money: Most millionaires want this and will only pay over the odds for something of real quality. Big spenders who want more bang for their buck go further afield deep into the North York Moors, Wolds and further up the A1.
Land: They want their own piece of Yorkshire even if they have no interest in gardening or farming.
Topography: Interesting views with hills appeal more than the flat lands around places like the Vale of York.
Interiors: Large living kitchens, cinema rooms and plenty of bathrooms, but not too many. If it’s a five bedroom house, then three is enough.
Privacy: a house surrounded by land is best. In the country, they will buy surrounding farmland to protect themselves from prying eyes.
Top, The most expensive and luxurious house on the market in Yorkshire is Howsham Hall, near Malton, at £5m with Knight Frank and Savills. Bottom left: Hartmires, Leathley, is £1.45m with Knight Frank, Harrogate, and bottom right, Burley Hall is on the market for £2m with Dacre, Son and Hartley, Ilkley.
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