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Stamp Duty Should Be Reformed!

Today the Council of Mortgage Lenders have called for the government to reform the Stamp Duty taxes on property sales in the UK and we fully support them. Yesterday the Telegraph reported that we pay more Stamp Duty in this country than any other country in the world. Successive governments have seen it as an easy way of generating extra revenue with the worst offender being Gordon Brown who put the 1% rate up to £% for houses over £250,000 and 4% for houses over £1million. The coalition added a 5% band for houses over £1million and 7% for properties over £2million as a sop to the Liberal Democrats’ desire to tax the rich. The tax has some serious negative effects ion the market especially with the large jump to £% at £250,000 and it makes it nearly impossible to sell a house for £260,000 or £270,000 as buyers…

October sales excellent!

The housing market seems to have eaten three Weetabix for breakfast with our best month for sales coming in October, which is normally not one of the best months in the year. More houses coming onto the market too so looks like we’re set for a strong start to next year as well!

Welwyn Garden City Estate Agents Close Ranks

The big estate agents in Welwyn Garden City have teamed up to get favoured status from the Welwyn & Hatfield Times in terms of lower advertising rates and better position in the property section in what appears to be a deliberate move to prevent non High Street competitors – especially those who advertise their fees or commissions in their advertising – from being able to afford access to the paper. The newspaper and some of the agents involved have said as much in private but don’t expect them so say anything publically or put anything in writing. Makes me think of King Canute trying to hold back the tide. The world is moving away from printed media to the internet/mobile devices and from traditional estate agency models with their high costs and equally high commissions to more flexible low cost models. We’ll just continue to focus on what we…

Property sales up nearly 20% versus last year.

Further signs that the property market is recovering today. In the recession people simply stopped moving due to the fear of falling prices (why buy today when the house you want will be cheaper tomorrow?) and because financial uncertainty and the lack of credit put moving house out of reach for all but the few who had no other choice. No prices are recovering, credit is becoming a little easier to get and the general mood music about the economy is more positive. That, along with the pent up demand caused by five lost years, is why the number of people moving home is recovering. Which is good news for BigBlackHen.com as we look to grow the business in the coming year!

http://www.estateagenttoday.co.uk/news_features/Housing-transactions-up-nearly-on-a-year-ago

House prices now rising fastest in areas most hit in crash

This report on today’s BBC web site shows that the ripple effect in house prices is now reaching parts of the country, like the Midlands, South West and North that were most affected by the crash. It really does look like the housing market recovery is solid which is good news as we have a new member of staff starting in September and are increasing our marketing budget to drive increasing growth for BigBlackHen.com in Hertfordshire and North London. http://bbc.in/13fALyo