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Gas boilers, Stamp Duty, house prices, and festive streets

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In the run-up to Christmas, property news continues apace.

Landlords need to stay as alert as ever to still further rules and regulations appearing on the near horizon. Stamp Duty continues to claim its own headlines. The housing market reflects its emergence from lockdown. And we list some of the streets up and down the country with very seasonal names …

Gas boilers may be next issue hitting landlords

The government’s advisory Committee on Climate Change has recommended that gas boilers should be banned from sale in the UK by 2033, reported Landlord Today last week. It is a move likely to cause considerable disquiet for private sector landlords who currently rely on such heating systems.

The advice from the Committee is in line with its recommendations that the government cuts emissions by 78% of the levels generated in the 1990’s by the year 2035. That would also coincide with the target for zero-carbon electricity generation by 2035 and net-zero emissions by 2050.

In the words of the Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering: “natural gas fired boilers are on borrowed time.”

Stamp Duty refunds for 2016 homebuyers?

With tax breaks still available until the end of March 2021, Stamp Duty has been in the news of late. The tax has made further headlines in a story by the Express newspaper recently which revealed that thousands of pounds may need to be refunded to property owners who were previously overcharged Stamp Duty.

The overpayments are likely to have dated back to 2016 – as the result of poor advice received by some buyers of second homes or buy to let property. That was the year that the Stamp Duty 3% surcharge was introduced on such properties.

Overpayments were made because of a failure to advise purchasers of the availability of claims for Multiple Dwellings Relief when two or more properties were bought from the same vendor.

Confusion about the rules and the resulting poor advice meant that an estimated £3 billion in Stamp Duty was overpaid in the tax year 2015/2016.

New Year house prices forecast to drop 1.2% after Christmas peak

Despite an encouraging rally in house prices immediately after the first lockdown was lifted, current house price forecasts predict an overall decline of 1.2% in January and 1.5% in February, according to a posting by Mortgage Solutions on the 9th of December.

The current upward trend in average house prices is likely to continue to a high of £352,239 but dropping back by an average of more than £9,000 per home to £343,312 by February.

The forecast was based on an analysis of some 30,000 individual conveyancing quotes.

The analysis also discovered a 12% drop in the past six months in the proportion of first-time buyers entering the housing market compared with the same period in 2019.

Terraced houses prices have shown strongest growth

Further analysis of the housing market – over a rather longer period of time – has revealed that terraced houses have enjoyed the strongest growth in prices over the past 20 years, reported Property Wire.

From the beginning of 2000 to date, the average price of a terraced house leapt a healthy 96% – from £189,394 to £321,519, revealed the article.

The average price of a semi-detached home rose to £203,392 – an increase of 84% over the 20-year period – while detached house and flats or maisonettes increased in price by 70% and 69% respectively.

Love Christmas? Then here are ten festive streets “yule” love

Online listings website Zoopla has helpfully already done it – so you don’t have to do it yourself. In a recent posting, they brought you the top ten streets in the UK with festive names “yule” be bound to love:

  • Christmas Pie Avenue is the heart-warming name given to this street in a village on the outskirts of Guildford in Surrey;
  • Holly Street, in Hackney, East London, seems destined to see its fair share of festive garlands;
  • Noel Road, in North London’s Borough of Islington, is alert to the joys of that first noel;
  • Bell Street will be ringing out its message of good cheer in London’s Marylebone;
  • Snowshill – a picturesque Cotswold village – is simply dreaming of a white Christmas;
  • Turkey Street, Bexhill-on-sea in East Sussex, meanwhile is all set for a proper basting;
  • Star Street, in neighbouring Paddington, could be in for a visit from three wise men;
  • Holly Green will be looking for its companion Ivy in the neighbourhood of Upton-upon-Severn, Worcestershire;
  • Mary Street, in Cheadle Village, near Manchester, awaits its holy apparition; and
  • St Nicholas Street – yes, your children can believe it really does exist (on the coast, at Scarborough, in North Yorkshire, as a matter of fact).