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The following is the guidance issued by NAEA

Today, 28 July, the Welsh Government has released guidance for the property sector and has updated its amendments to the Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (Wales) Regulations in light of the re-opening of the housing market from 27 July.

First announced on 24 July, the Welsh housing market is now fully operational again and the Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (Wales) Regulations 2020 have now been amended to allow for:

• Home moves
• Agents to market a residential property for sale or rent and prepare a residential property for persons to move into
• Customers to visit estate or letting agents on an appointment-only basis
• Viewings to take place in residential properties.

THE NEW GUIDANCE

The new guidance provides important public health information to ensure that agents' activities happen safely. Estate and letting agents should follow the advice for the industry but other guidance has also been created for customers who wish to move home.

VISITORS TO OFFICES

The guidance states that agents and landlords should:

• Discourage visitors from attending their offices, unless it is absolutely necessary and then should ensure visitors to the office are by appointment only.
• Keep a record of all office visitors including contact details, for COVID-19 tracing purposes
• Put procedures in place to minimise person to person contact
• Read the latest government advice on wearing face coverings.

PROPERTY VIEWINGS

Marketing of properties can take place, but all property viewings should take place virtually in the first instance. Where a physical viewing of a property is required this should be by appointment only and back to back viewings should not take place.

Open house viewings are not permissible and where possible, a properties occupier should vacate the property whilst viewings are taking place – if it is not possible for the occupier to vacate, they should make efforts to minimise contact with those viewing their home.

The property should be thoroughly cleaned before and after a viewing goes ahead and social distancing should be maintained at all times.

HMOs

The guidance also covers property viewings of rooms in houses of multiple occupation (HMOs) and other shared accommodation settings that share a bathroom, kitchen or both.

The full, detailed guidance can be found below.

updated 29th July 2020

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There is a lot of discussion at the moment on proposed changes to Capital Gains Tax

(see information about CGT here)

calculatorTax3Tudor Chartered Surveyors are following the debate and will report here on likely changes which may be introduced at the next budget

Speculation is mounting that Capital Gains Tax could, for the first time, be applied to gains made when owners sell first homes, not just buy to let or holiday properties!

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has asked the Office of Tax Simplification to review CGT, with a consultation now underway and any changes scheduled to be announced in the autumn statement in November.

The expectation is that CGT will be changed to gather more revenue for the government, which is cash-strapped following emergency expenditure over Coronavirus.

CGT is already 10 per cent higher for the sale of buy to lets and second homes - at 18 per cent and 28 per cent for basic and higher rate taxpayers - than it is for investments. And in April HMRC changed its rules requiring UK residents to submit CGT returns, and pay any tax due, within 30 days of completion of a property sale.

Private residence relief means that nobody pays CGT if they sell their owner occupied main home for more than they bought it; this is worth around £26.7 billion according to the National Audit Office.

Read more about this in Estate Agency News here

We will be monitoring the debate and consultation process and will report on the changes as they become clearer.

As Chartered Surveyors we have helped many clients with retrospective 'red book' valuations for CGT purposes. If you want more details on this service, please contact Stephen Tudor.

Updated 20th July 2020

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From 27th July 2020 the Land Transaction Tax LTT rates in Wales will change, the threshold is lifted from £180,000 to £250,000. This change will be held until 31st March 2021.

The timing of the change ties up with further restrictions being removed from the housing market that currently prohibits the viewing of occupied residential properties. (Occupied properties can be viewed from 27th July).

Welsh Government say that with the main zero rate threshold being lifted, this will mean that 80 per cent of homebuyers will now not pay tax. It was previously at 60 per cent, with Wales being the only country in the UK that had a starting threshold higher than the average price of a home. The new threshold is £70,000 higher than their current starting threshold for residential property transactions and will mean that only around 20 per cent of those liable to the main LTT rates will pay any tax.

Anyone buying properties that cost more than £250,000 will make a saving of £2,450 over that which would previously have been payable.

PURCHASE PRICE

LTT RATE

 LTT 2nd Property
Up to £180,000 0% 3%
£180 to £250,000 0% 3.5% + 3% = 6.5%

Above £250,000 to £400,000

5 per cent

5% + 3% = 8%

 Above £400,000 to £750,000

7.5 per cent

7.5% + 3% = 10.5%

 Above £750,000 to £1,500,000

10 per cent

10% + 3% = 13%

 Over £1,500,000

12 per cent

12% + 3% = 15%

 

These changes will not, however, apply to those buying property that is liable to the higher rates. The rates and thresholds for buyers of residential property as an investment or as a second home remain unchanged. Welsh Government Minister said "This targeted tax reduction will support taxpayers who are paying the main rates of land transaction tax (broadly, those buying their homes) and who may need additional support due to the pandemic"

This means that anyone buying a second residential property will pay an additional 3% on top of the above stated rates ( see second column above 'LTT 2nd Property')

 

The Welsh Government Statement is available here

updated 23rd July 2020

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UPDATE FOR BUYERS, SELLERS and for TENANTS

The Welsh First Minister, Mark Drakeford, has suggested that there will be further housing market lockdown easing later this month.

His announcement has acknowledged the economic importance of restarting the housing market and signalled an intention to allow viewings of occupied properties from July 27, as long as current trends on infection rates and public health continue.

We continue to monitor the guidance issued by our professional bodies RICS, ARLA and NAEA along with the advice and regulations published by the Government.

Please refer to our valuation and viewing protocol here

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UPDATE FOR BUYERS, SELLERS and for TENANTS

From 6th July travelling restrictions have been lifted by Welsh Government which removes the 5 mile limit on non-essential travelling

Our Office door is now open (from 22nd June - the first day allowed by Welsh Government) and our opening hours have been extended back to our usual 9am to 5.30pm.

However,  the on-line services developed before and during lockdown will continue and are available 24/7.

Regulations now allow us to carry out viewings of vacant properties and these are strictly by prior appointments only, and must follow physical distancing guidance and keep good hand hygiene. 

Prospective tenants must complete our pre-application form prior to making the appointment. - see here

 

We continue to monitor the guidance issued by our professional bodies RICS, ARLA and NAEA along with the advice and regulations published by the Government.

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OR BUYERS, SELLERS and for TENANTS

Welsh Government have given the green light for a re-boot of the property market – New regulations now allow us to carry out viewings of vacant properties from Monday 22nd June. These are strictly by appointments only, conducted with all social distancing rules applied. 

Travelling to view an unoccupied property is now allowed and is not subject to the 5 mile restriction. See Welsh Government guidance here. All viewings are by prior appointment and must follow physical distancing guidance and keep good hand hygiene. 

Prospective tenants must complete our pre-application form prior to making the appointment.

We continue to monitor the guidance issued by our professional bodies RICS, ARLA and NAEA along with the advice and regulations published by the Government.

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Take a look at our virtual tours more details to follow on 17th April 2020

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