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Stamp duty – likely to dampen Shropshire’s buy to let market


Three per cent stamp duty on second homes, announced in the Autumn budget, will hold back the buy to let market and may impact on buy to let property value, reducing the prices.

Shropshire estate agent, Tim Main of Balfours, says that the move is the second significant blow for buy to let investors this year.

He says: “The reality is that stamp duty on a £150,000 property will be hiked up significantly after April 2016, from £500 to £3,800. This is the second financial hit for buy-to-let investors this year. The summer budget in July reduced landlords’ ability to offset mortgage interest costs against rental income. That change will be phased in between 2017 and 2020 and make many existing buy-to-lets unprofitable.”

He continues: “We don’t know full details, for instance what constitutes a second home? However it could well spike the buy to let market in the next few months, before the April 2016 deadline. That will initially step up the competition for first time buyers, but ultimately first time buyers are unlikely to face as much competition as they have experienced in recent years.”

Mr Main is less concerned for the second home, holiday market: “It might dampen enthusiasm and marginally reduced spend, but generally if people want, and can afford, a holiday home they will buy anyway.  On a £350,000 second home there will be an £9,300 extra stamp duty to pay taking the bill to £16,800; for a £450,000 property the stamp duty bill will be just short of £25,000 – which is nearly double the current cost.

“We have experienced a good year with SY1, 2 and 3 property values averaging 5% up, overall Shropshire property prices are very settled which is good for confidence, however house supply has been less predictable – perhaps yesterday’s announcement will encourage home owners considering a sale to progress pre April 2016.”


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AMC Down to Earth Winter 2015 issue


The AMC have circulated their most recent Newsletter - you can read it here

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SY1, 2 and 3 up 5


Properties in Shrewsbury residential areas have seen a three to five per cent rise in value this calendar year.

The statistics were revealed to some 70 professionals attending Balfours Xtra seminar at the Mytton and Mermaid, yesterday (November 24). Speaking at the event Balfours town manager, Alistair Hilton said: “Properties in the SY1, 2 and 3 areas have risen in value by three to five per cent, those in the SY3 were up by 5.29% according to Zoopla.”

“The change in stamp duty last December has had the greatest impact on the £250,000 previous price barrier, giving buyers an extra £5,000 to put into their deposit. Some of those that were stuck at the £250,000 threshold are now selling for £275,000 showing a 10% increase. Buyers have also taken advantage of the 0.5% base rate – with ‘Loan To Value’- LTVs being more favourable and accessible than three or four years ago, with LTVs of 95% now available.”

He also highlighted new build as a significant growth area, with the 2014 market accounting for 10%, while 2015 has seen a strong increase to 15.7% this month. He says: “First time buyers can now approach developers with no money and the developer will offer 5%, together with other help to buy incentives.”

Highlighting several speedy sales at above guide, he added: “Buyers are out there, we had one buyer coming out of London who identified the property they wanted and despite competition above the guide price, they secured the Shrewsbury property nearer to £900,000, almost £100,000 above guide. Timing and location are key,” he added.

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One bed perfection in sandstone


An exquisite sandstone cottage, formerly a chapel in an idyllic rural setting has been launched to the market by Balfours Property Professionals. The Chapel, at Hopton, Nesscliffe, is equidistance of nine miles from both Shrewsbury and Oswestry, with local amenities in Nesscliffe half a mile away.

The ground floor comprises entrance hall and hallway, with independent access to the dining room, kitchen, bathroom and bedroom. A stairway from the hallway leads to a first floor living room with glazing to all aspect and unspoiled views to Hopton Hill, Nesscliffe Hill and the Welsh Mountains. The room also has a wonderful ceiling which is open to the rafters – adding to the spacious feel of the room which is 35 metres square.

Agent, Clemmie Daborn, of Balfours says: “This really is a one off and rare opportunity to purchase a one bedroom property. The Chapel dates back to 1833 and is just a sheer pleasure, well worth viewing.” The Chapel, which includes parking and garden, is marketed with a guide price of £150,000. For more information call Clemmie Daborn on 01743 353511 or visit

IMG 7918 - Copy

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We are delighted to announce


We are delighted to announce that due to continued expansion in the business the Balfours Estate Agents team are relocating to The Square in Shrewsbury. The new address will be Balfours LLP, The Square, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, SY1 1LG. From Monday 7th December 2015 we will be operating from the new premises.

We do hope you will be able to come and see us soon in the new premises.


Music Hall

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Winter responsibilities


Landlords and tenants should ensure they are fully aware of who is responsible for what before the onset of winter.

Most tenancy agreements require tenants to take such reasonable and prudent precautions expected of a householder, particularly between and including the months of November to February, by heating the premises to prevent damage by frost or freezing. 

To this end Charlotte George MARLA, Senior Lettings Negotiator of Balfours Property Professionals is urging landlords to make tenants aware that if they are planning extended periods away they should always remember to leave heating on at a low level, which should stop the possibility of freezing damage to the plumbing and heating systems, prevent condensation and mildew and mould growth. 

Charlotte says, “The most effective way to achieve this is not to have the heating on for one hour in the mornings and evenings, but to leave it on permanently, with the boiler output thermostat set to low or min and the room thermostats set to  around 12C. Radiator valves should be left fully open, and any thermostatic radiator valves turned up to max.

However if the tenant is out daily, they should ensure that the heating is put on for a period of time in the evening – the easiest thing to do is to set the timer/thermostat.  This will ensure pipes do not freeze and avoids damp in the property,” she adds. 

With additional heating comes an increased risk of fire. New legislation that came into effect on 1st October this year requires private landlords to install smoke alarms in all rented properties on every floor of their property. Carbon Monoxide (CO) alarms are also required in any room which is used wholly or partly as living accommodation and which contains a solid fuel burning combustion appliance, for example a wood burning stove, an open fire or a solid fuel Aga.

Charlotte explains: “In the first instance the alarms are the responsibility of the landlord, but on handover tenants should take responsibility for their own safety and test all alarms regularly to make sure they are in working order. ‘Test it Tuesday’ is the day Balfours and the Fire & Rescue Services recommend that smoke alarms are tested.”

She concludes: “Keeping a house or flat in good condition is particularly important in winter, areas of responsibility do need to be clear to avoid both misunderstandings and costly repairs, neither of which the landlord or tenant want.”


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