Controversial House-Buying Tax To Be Re-Introduced

The amnesty on first-time buyers paying stamp duty is set to end on 24 March, despite figures showing a significant rise in mortgage activity during the ‘holiday’.

First-time buyers currently do not have to pay the one per cent tax on properties valued at less than £250,000, resulting in a flurry of activity in the housing market. Agents, such as House Simple, have reported “viewings flooding in at unprecedented levels”.

Recent data from the Bank of England shows a £1.6 billion increase in lending secured on properties in January, which is double that of the previous six-month average of £800 million. A fifth of surveyors registered with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors predict that transaction levels will increase during the next three months.

William Hunter, the founding director at Hunter Wealth Management, predicts the rush to buy caused by the stamp duty amnesty will result in a slump in the market once the deadline passes.

“The number of new home loans will almost certainly settle down in the months ahead, as the mortgage market clicks back into conservative mode,” he says.

The Council of Mortgage Lenders is already asking for an extension on the stamp duty holiday while others are calling for a complete overhaul of the tax. Sophie Gosling, House Simple’s company director, says: “The way that stamp duty is levied is inherently very flawed. At the moment the jump from one per cent to three per cent at the £250,000 level causes all sorts of issues. It makes no sense that a property worth £250,000 should have stamp duty of £2,500 applicable, but a property worth £1 more should have stamp duty of £7,500 applied.”

Via EPR Network
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Heather Gennette Earns Real Estate, Short Sale Designation to Help Homeowners in Danger of Foreclosure

Heather Gennette of Vernazza Realty has earned the prestigious Certified Distressed Property Expert® (CDPE) designation, having completed extensive training in foreclosure avoidance, with a particular emphasis on short sales. At a time when millions of homeowners are struggling with the possibility of foreclosure, the skills and education amassed by Gennette will help benefit South Orange County area residents and communities.

Short sales allow the distressed homeowner to repay the mortgage at the price that the home sells for, even if it is lower than what is owed on the property. With plummeting property values, this can save many people from foreclosure and even bankruptcy. More and more lenders are willing to consider short sales because they are much less costly than foreclosures.

Today, more than 13 percent of homeowners are delinquent on their mortgage or in the foreclosure process. This is occurring across all price ranges, and the fastest-growing category of homes in foreclosure is the luxury home market.

“The CDPE designation has been invaluable as I work with homeowners and lenders on complicated short sales,” said Gennette. “It is so rewarding to be able to help families save their homes from foreclosure.”

Alex Charfen, co-founder and CEO of the Distressed Property Institute in Austin, Texas, said that agents such as Heather Gennette, with the CDPE Designation have valuable perspective on the market, and training in short sales that can offer homeowners real alternatives to foreclosure, which can be devastating to credit ratings.

“These experts better understand market conditions than the average agent, and can help sellers through the complications of foreclosure avoidance,” he said.

The Distressed Property Institute provides live and online courses to train real estate professionals how to help homeowners in distress, with a strong focus on handling short sales.

“Our goal is to help as many homeowners as possible, by educating as many real estate professionals as possible,” Charfen said. Heather Gennette has demonstrated a commitment to struggling homeowners, a commitment that can provide much-needed stabilization to the community.”

For more information about CDPE Designation, visit For more information about Heather Gennette visit

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From the City to the Countryside

Corina Zaharia and her husband Dragos were looking to move from their London base when they came across the Miller Homes’ Pilgrims Gate development at Wixams and they are very glad they did!

“This is a really beautiful location with some wonderful countryside in the area,” enthused Corina. “We found the perfect three bedroom home for us which also has a study, it is the exact size we wanted, the layout is great and the team at Miller Homes were absolutely brilliant. Everything was explained so clearly from the financial aspects to the legal side and the sales team and site manager could not have been more helpful. There was no stress involved at all in our purchase and it was a really good experience.”

As well as three bedroom homes there are also four and five bedroom new homes currently available with prices ranging from just £219,950 to £365,000.

“We offer a variety of homes so it is well worth coming and paying us a visit,” says John Taylor, regional sales manager. “I am sure when you see our development and its surroundings you will be every bit as impressed as Corina and Dragos.”

At Miller Homes we look to tailor packages for buyers individual needs.

If your existing property is not yet on the market you may be able to take advantage of the Miller Homes’ MiSwap Home Exchange scheme. You will have a guaranteed buyer for your present home, no chain to worry about, no estate agents fees or advertising costs to pay so do ask for full details.

Even if you don’t buy yourself, anyone who recommends Pilgrims Gate to friends and family who go on to buy a property at the development could earn £1,000 through the Miller Homes’ Recommend a Friend scheme subject to our terms and conditions.

The marketing suite at Pilgrims Gate is open daily from 10am – 5pm or call 0800 840 8736. Alternatively visit the web site

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Real Estate Professionals Invited To Tell All To Gossip Blog

Having hundreds of credible professional sources that provide information about real estate owned by celebrities is a dream come true for many publications. This is the unique selling point of which is operated by an agency that has relationships with thousands of international real estate professionals.

One of the things we love most about celebrities is their fantastic homes however when a celebrity buys or sells a home it is often in secret. Now, with the launch of a brand new website it’s easy to follow all the celebrity gossip and get a glimpse into the luxury properties of the rich and famous.

Nick Marr, the brains behind explains: “The idea behind is to showcase on one website the amazing properties that celebrities buy. Whether it’s a beachfront mansion owned by Halle Berry or Andie MacDowell’s Carolina estate, Rich Crib showcases the luxury and designer properties of the rich and famous.

We help celebrities gain more exposure in a different environment, gossip sells and can attract a huge audience.

Many celebrities would never admit to promoting a home they want us all to see on a gossip website. So our contacts do this on their behalf.

“We also include all the latest celebrity gossip, so Rich Crib really is the one stop shop for following the lifestyles of the world’s biggest stars.”

With a collection of celebrity news including black celeb news from the web, gossip and pages dedicated to the luxury homes of film stars, pop singers.

Mr Marr believes the site is the perfect place to get your fix of celebrity lifestyle. “As well as dedicating the site to showcasing some of the world’s most expensive and desirable property, is also full of the latest news on the planet’s top stars. Whether you want to learn more about Justin Bieber, Charlie Sheen or Madonna, is the new place to go.”

And, Rich Crib also has a section dedicated to those celebrities whose homes leave a little something to be desired in terms of taste and class.

Mr Marr added: “Not even multi millionaires can buy class and we’ve all seen film stars and sportspeople in astonishingly tacky and poorly designed homes. That’s why we have also included a ‘House Fail’ section to showcase those properties that prove that money doesn’t buy good taste.”

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