Savills in Bristol is urging those considering selling in 2016 to bring their property to market sooner rather than later, to ensure a sale is completed before 1st April 2016. This is the anticipated deadline after which purchasers will be liable for an increased level of stamp duty on ‘additional properties’ including buy to let properties.

The additional rate will be three percentage points above the current rate of stamp duty and will apply to purchases of such residential properties costing more than £40,000 when the acquisition completes on or after 1 April 2016.

Richard Brooks, Director and head of Savills in Clifton comments:  “What is meant by an ‘additional property’ is not just what we would usually consider a buy to let property or a second home. If an individual owns a property as a main residence, at home or even abroad, and then buys a new home before selling their old one, they will be liable to pay the increased stamp duty at the time of that purchase completing. A refund will be available if the original main residence is then sold, but only if this transaction completes within 18 months.

“We anticipate this rise in stamp duty having a noticeable impact on the prime market in Bath. Since 2013, around 17 per cent of our buyers have purchased properties as a second home or for investment, both of which would now be liable under the new regime. In addition we see a number of people relocate to the city from outside of the area before having sold their previous residence.

“In our view, the pending 30th March 2016 sale completion deadline will create an initial rush of demand from those seeking to avoid the additional tax with a quieter period thereafter.

“So we are urging would-be vendors to act now to bring their property to market, if they want to capture these motivated buyers. And let’s not forget that the demand for properties in Bristol also remains very strong for those who are simply looking for a family home

For further information and for a free market appraisal, contact Savills in Clifton on +44 (0)117 933 5800