Beverley, UK: House builders Peter Ward Homes have seen an increase in second-home buyers looking to complete deals before being stung by increases to Stamp Duty.
The new rate for house buyers who purchase from April 1 onwards will have to pay an additional 3% charge on all properties including those under the current Stamp Duty-free limit of £125,000.
The changes could affect a huge cross section of buyers including married couples and civil partners and people who are looking to move without selling.
Parents, who already own their own house and choose to help their children get on the property ladder by taking out a joint mortgage, will also be liable.
The rise has seen many people look to push through deals quickly in a bid to avoid additional charges.
Rosemary Key, sales director at Peter Ward Homes said: “Retaining an existing home as an alternative source of income and asset for the future is very popular at the moment.
“We’ve seen a huge surge in people looking to get these type of properties completed over the coming weeks.
“With cash being tight for almost all house buyers they’ve become very savvy and don’t want to get hit by this change to regulations that could literally see a £150,000 house go from being £500 to a staggering £5,000 over night.
“To cater for the demand our staff have been working flat out to get everyone processed.
“With a house sale typically taking 5-6 weeks to complete there is still time for buyers to avoid the hike but they will have to move quickly.”