houses

A guide to house prices across the UK

by Madaline Dunn

House hunting is exciting and often symbolises a new start, and adventure. That said, it can be somewhat overwhelming reviewing house prices, especially considering that global house prices are rising at the fastest pace since 2005.

According to Halifax, house prices shot up by 10.3% over the last year, with an increase to £287,440 on average!

But, don’t worry, at The Salary Calculator, we’ll walk you through:

  • Some of the housing market trends right now
  • Whether now is a good time to buy a house
  • Where the cheapest house prices are
  • Where the most expensive house prices are located

What are some of the housing market trends right now?

For those looking to break into the housing market in the UK, there are a few things you should know. In August, house prices jumped 7.1%, a record high, with more demand for greater space and a trend towards more home-working pinned as the reasons behind increased buyer activity.

In relation to this, following the pandemic, more and more people are looking to move out of cities, and now there is reportedly greater demand for rural areas. A survey from Royal London revealed that when movers were asked about their ideal living locations, 46% of Londoners said rural areas, while this figure was 45% in Manchester and 42% in Liverpool.

Andrew Asaam of Halifax said: “It’s clear from speaking to our mortgage customers that many have prioritised space over location as a result of more time spent at home over the last year and a half. We’ve seen evidence of this in areas right across Britain, with house price growth in the vast majority of cities now being outstripped by increases in their surrounding areas.”

Is now a good time to buy?

According to the experts, house prices are pretty pricey right now, and there’s been a month-on-month increase in price. Nationwide House Price Index found that in August 2021, the average house price stood at £248,857, which was 2.1% higher than in July. Demand is also high, meaning there’s a bit more competition.

Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s Chief Economist, says demand is likely to remain solid: “Consumer confidence has rebounded in recent months while borrowing costs remain low. This, combined with the lack of supply on the market, suggests continued support for house prices.”

Meanwhile, speaking to Woman and Home, Chris Salmon, a property expert said that a large price drop is unlikely to happen in the next few months: “For the most part, they will remain largely the same as they are now. Although the Stamp Duty Holiday fully ends at the end of September, only a small amount of properties are affected by that, not enough to see a significant drop in house prices.”

Where are the cheapest house prices?

If you look at the UK by region, some of the cheapest places to buy a house are:

  • Scotland: Average house price: £206,359
  • Yorkshire and The Humber: Average house price: £207,106
  • North East: Average house price: £213,091
  • North West: Average house price: £228,307
  • East Midlands: Average house price: £250,946

Meanwhile, by city, some of the least cheapest spots to buy a house are:

  • Hull: Average house price: £156,424
  • Carlisle: Average house price: £163,232
  • Bradford: Average house price: £164,410,
  • Sunderland: Average house price: £179,567
  • Inverness: Average house price:£191,840
  • Glasgow: Average house price: £196,625

Where are the most expensive house prices?

In the UK, buying in some of the most expensive regions will cost you an arm and a leg. The South West is now the most expensive region, and experts have largely put this down to the second home market surging.

Across the UK, some of the most expensive regions include:

  • South West: Average house price: £430,488
  • East: Average house price: £385,420
  • South East: Average house price: £441,246
  • London: Average house price: £706,267
  • West Midlands: Average house price: £264,017

These days there are actually locations in the UK that outdo London when it comes to house prices. Winchester, in particular, was found to be one of the most expensive places to live. There, the average property costs 14 times the average salary. Oxford is not far behind, with a price-to-earnings ratio of 12.4.

The following locations are the most expensive in the UK:

  • Winchester: Average house price:£630,432
  • St Albans: Average house price: £604,423
  • London: Average house price: £564,695
  • Oxford: Average house price: £486,928
  • Cambridge: Average house price: £482,300

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Tuesday, September 21st, 2021 Economy, Savings No Comments

None of the content on this website, including blog posts, comments, or responses to user comments, is offered as financial advice. Figures used are for illustrative purposes only.

The cost of rent across the UK

by Madaline Dunn

Rent in the UK is on the rise. According to recent figures from HomeLet, the average cost of rent in August reached a record high of £1,053. That’s up 6.9% from last year and 2.3% from the previous month.

Wales saw the highest annual price rise, up 12.8% from last year; meanwhile, the North East saw an annual increase of 5.8%.

So, just how expensive is it to rent in the UK, and what’s causing rent prices to rise?

At The Salary Calculator, we’ll walk you through:

  • Why rent prices in the UK are rising
  • The lowest rent prices in the UK
  • The highest rent prices in the UK

Why are rent prices on the rise?

UK rent prices are on the rise for a number of reasons, including a consistent rise in demand for rental properties. Research from BuyAssociation, in June revealed that a total of 88 prospective private renters were registered per estate agency branch in the UK.

The locations that have seen the biggest increase in demand include the West Midlands and Birmingham, and Yorkshire & the Humber.

The loosening of Covid-19 restrictions, improved job security, and young people moving back out of their parents’ homes have also been pinned as reasons for rent rises.

Commenting on what he thinks is the cause behind the hike, Andy Halstead, HomeLet & Let Alliance Chief Executive Officer, said: “Throughout the Coronavirus pandemic, the Government rightly took measures to protect tenants but didn’t go far enough to balance the protection for landlords.”

He added: “It’s a continuation of the theme that we’ve seen for many years, with landlords being penalised by higher taxes and increased complexity in obtaining possession of their properties. Increased costs for landlords mean increased costs for tenants.”

Where are the cheapest places to rent in the UK?

When looking to rent a property in the UK, a whole host of factors go into decision making, but according to Statista, the most important one for 70% of UK residents is cost.

Saving on rent means that you have more cash in your pocket for the things you love. So what are some of the cheapest rental rates you can secure? By region, these include:

  • North East – Average rent: £547 per month
  • Yorkshire & Humberside – Average rent: £701 per month
  • Wales – Average rent: £702 per month
  • East Midlands- Average rent: £704 per month
  • Scotland – Average rent: £738

Specifically, the following cities offer the lowest rent prices across the UK:

  • Bradford – Average rent: £470.50 per month
  • Sunderland – Average rent: £486.50 per month
  • Kingston upon Hull – Average rent: £491.56 per month
  • Middlesbrough – Average rent: £507.71 per month
  • Blackpool -Average rent: £510.25 per month

Of course, London has some of the highest rent prices in the world. That said, there are some locations in London where you can secure slightly lower rent rates. This includes:

  • Croydon – Average rent: £1,200
  • Barking & Dagenham – Average rent: £1,210 per month
  • Bromley – Average rent: £1,250 per month
  • Redbridge – Average rent: £1,275 per month
  • Hillingdon – Average rent: £1,300 per month

For those looking to keep costs low, according to a report by SpareRoom, Bradford, Middlesbrough, and Sunderland offer some of the lowest rates to rent-a-room:

  • Middlesbrough – Average rent: £349 per month
  • Sunderland – Average rent: £350 per month
  • Bradford – Average rent: £364 per month
  • Huddersfield – Average rent: £365 per month
  • Liverpool – Average rent: £395 per month

Where are the most expensive places to rent in the UK?

Some of the prices of the most expensive places to rent in the UK will make your eyes water.

The most expensive regions to rent in the UK include:

  • Greater London – Average rent: £1607 per month
  • South East – Average rent: £1105 per month
  • East of England – Average rent: £1005 per month
  • South West – Average rent: £948 per month
  • North West – Average rent: £799 per month

Aside from London, which is the most expensive city to rent in the UK, some of the most expensive rental rates, according to Thomas Sanderson, can be found in the following cities:

  • Brighton & Hove – Average rent: £1,461.00 per month
  • Oxford – Average rent: £1,442.80 per month
  • Poole – Average rent: £1,251.25 per month
  • Bournemouth – Average rent: £1,125.89 per month
  • Cambridge – Average rent: £1,112.25 per month

Although renting a room in a house can be a way to avoid paying most of your wage packet to your landlord, there are some locations where renting a room is still pretty steep. For those weighing up their rent-a-room options, some of the most expensive places include:

  • Jersey – Average rent: £784 per month
  • Twickenham – Average rent: £684 per month
  • Barnet – Average rent: £666 per month
  • Guernsey – Average rent: £656 per month
  • Kingston upon Thames – Average rent: £644 per month

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Wednesday, September 15th, 2021 Economy No Comments

Stamp duty in the UK

by Madaline Dunn

Stamp duty has hit the headlines recently, following the end of Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s end-of-June stamp duty holiday deadline. Reports have highlighted that transactions have slumped after a surge of homebuyers taking advantage of the government’s housing market policies.

So what exactly is stamp duty, and what does the end of the stamp duty holiday mean for homebuyers and the housing market?

At The Salary Calculator, we’ll walk you through:

  • What stamp duty is
  • When stamp duty applies
  • How much stamp duty costs
  • When you must pay stamp duty
  • What the stamp duty holiday was
  • What the end of the stamp duty holiday means for the housing market

What is stamp duty?

Stamp duty, or Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT), refers to the tax you must pay to HM Revenue & Customs when purchasing a residential property or piece of land in England or Northern Ireland.

When does stamp duty apply?

Standard stamp duty applies to those purchasing a property valued at £125,000; that said, this does not apply to first time buyers unless their property is valued at over £300,000. Those who are purchasing a second property are also required to pay stamp duty, although the amount you pay here can be claimed back if you sell your first property within three years.

Exemptions apply where a portion of one’s home is transferred to a spouse or partner after a separation or divorce, or an individual inherited a property in a will.

How much is stamp duty?

The amount of stamp duty one pays is dependent on a property’s purchase price and is tiered in the same way as income tax. This is as follows for the period between 1 July 2021 – 30 September 2021:

For England and Northern Ireland:

  • The stamp duty rate for a main residence property valued at between £180,001 – £250,000 is 0%. For those with additional properties, a 3% surcharge is applied to the entire purchase price of the property
  • The stamp duty rate for a main residence property valued at between  £250,001 – £925,000 is 5% and rises to 8% for additional properties
  • The stamp duty rate for a main residence property valued at between £925,001 – £1,500,000 is 10% and rises to 13% for additional properties
  •  The stamp duty rate for a main residence property valued at over £1,500,001 is 12% rising to 15% for additional properties

For Wales from 1 July:

  • The stamp duty rate for a main residence property valued at between £180,001 – £250,000 is 3.5% and rises to 7.5% for additional properties
  • The stamp duty rate for a main residence property valued at between £250,001 – £400,000 is 5% and rises to 9% for additional properties
  • The stamp duty rate for a main residence property valued at between £400,001 – £750,000 is 7.5% and rises to 11.5% for additional properties
  • The stamp duty rate for a main residence property valued at between £750,001 – £1,500,000 is 10% and rises to 14% for additional properties
  • The stamp duty rate for a main residence property above £1,500,000 is 12% and rises to 16% for additional properties

For Scotland from 1 April:

  • Land and buildings transaction tax rate for a main residence property valued at up to £145,000 is 0% and rises to 4% for additional properties
  • Land and buildings transaction tax rate for a main residence property valued at between £145,001 – £250,000 is 2% and rises to 6% for additional properties
  • Land and buildings transaction tax rate for a main residence property valued at between £250,001 – £325,000 is 5% and rises to 9% for additional properties
  • Land and buildings transaction tax rate for a main residence property valued at between £325,001 – £750,000 is 10% and rises to 14% for additional properties
  • Land and buildings transaction tax rate for a main residence property valued at over £750,001 is 12% and rises to 16% for additional properties

When must you pay stamp duty?

When buying a property in the UK, it’s a legal requirement to pay your stamp duty within 14 days of the date of completion/date of entry. After this timeframe, interest may be applied, and you may be hit with a fine. This follows legislative changes introduced in 2019.

What was the stamp duty holiday?

The stamp duty holiday was introduced back in July 2020. This tax cut was introduced to stimulate the property market amidst the Covid-19 pandemic and make it more accessible to homebuyers. It resulted in savings of up to £15,000 for around 1.3 million homebuyers.

Although the stamp duty holiday was set to expire in March, it was extended until June 2021. Temporary stamp duty rates are now higher than before and apply between July to September. Standard stamp duty rates will apply from 1 October 2021 onwards.

Standard rates for England and Northern Ireland are as follows:

  • The stamp duty rate for a main residence property valued at up to £125,000 is 0% and 3% for additional properties
  • The stamp duty rate for a main residence property valued at between £125,0001 – £250,000 is 2% and rises to 5% for additional properties
  • The stamp duty rate for a main residence property valued at between £250,001 – £925,000 is 5% and rises to 8% for additional properties
  • The stamp duty rate for main residence property valued at between £925,001 – £1,500,000 is 10% and rises to 13% or additional properties
  • The stamp duty rate for main residence property valued at £1,500,001 and over is 12% and rise to 15% for additional properties

What does the end of the stamp duty holiday mean for the housing market?

The end of the stamp duty has been predicted to have some negative effects, such as:

  • Buyers pulling out of deals
  • A decline in buyer interest, and;
  • A drop in house prices

That said, the future is uncertain, and industry experts’ forecasts are varied. Recently, Nationwide recorded a “surprising” 2.1% rise in sold prices, which Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s chief economist, has attributed to a demand for properties between £125,000 and £250,000.

Meanwhile, Gabriella Dickens, a senior UK economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, commented: “We think that house prices will pick up again in 2022, finishing the year about 4% higher than at the end of 2021.”

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Monday, September 6th, 2021 Economy No Comments

Plans for re-starting the economy

by Admin

It has been a turbulent few months for many of us, with jobs being cut, furloughing schemes, working from home and closure of many businesses (small and large). Last week, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a number of measures which are designed to help us along the road to recovery. It is going to take several months (or even longer) and things may never quite be the same – but here are a few of the measures which have been announced:

A cut in VAT on hospitality – restaurants and hotels will see the VAT on their goods reduced from 20% to 5%. For consumers, it is possible that this will mean lower prices but businesses are under no obligation to pass this saving on. They may keep their prices the same and use the VAT saving to try to repair some of the damage caused by their enforced closure over the last few months, or to try to allow for fewer customers as social distancing regulations mean that they can’t seat as many people as before.

A temporary removal of stamp duty on house purchases under £500,000 – if you were planning to move house before March 2021, this may well save you a significant amount of money. Previously, any house sold for more than £125,000 attracted stamp duty (often thousands or tens of thousands of pounds) which the buyer had to pay on top of the purchase price. Until March of next year, the threshold has been increased to £500,000, in an attempt to encourage people to buy and re-energise the housing market.

A bonus paid to employers who retain furloughed employees – if an employer keeps an employee who was furloughed on the payroll until the end of January 2021, they will be eligible for a one-off £1000 bonus. This is to encourage employers to keep people on and prevent unemployment, even if business doesn’t pick up immediately now that lockdown has been loosened.

There were several schemes announced which are intended to encourage employers to employ 16-24 year olds.

A full run-down of the measures announced is available from the BBC.

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Wednesday, July 15th, 2020 Economy, Jobs No Comments

Mortgage availability continues to rise

by Admin

Since the collapse of the housing market and plummetting property values filled the mortgage companies with fear of taking on the risks of buyers defaulting on the their home loan, the number of mortgages available to buyers also fell. But over the last year the trend in both house prices and mortgage availability has been promising.

More mortgages are now available with lower deposits (higher loan-to-value) than a few months ago, and some lenders are prepared to risk more with first time buyers. All of this is good news if you are looking to buy a house, and although prices have recently fallen slightly, the overall trend is still for prices to increase. Increased mortgage availability should help more buyers into the market, increasing demand and pushing prices up.

But a note of caution – with house prices returning to the value current occupants bought at, more and more owners will feel ready to sell up – more houses on the market increases supply and therefore lowers the price. Some analysts think that this effect will start to work harder against the increasing demand, slowing growth in house prices, but not actually pushing prices back down.

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Tuesday, March 9th, 2010 Mortgages No Comments

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