Credit Card

Beat the Credit Card Blues – How to Save Pounds in January!

Well, January is traditionally a blue month after all the fun of Christmas and the New Year but this January on the 13th last year a present was announced for all credit and debit cards holders – no charges are applicable for the use of the cards. Fees of 2% have usually been incurred which can be hefty for larger purchases such as air travel or hotels.

These charges soon add up which is really upsetting when every spare pound is being put into savings towards your first mortgage or rental deposit.

The great news about the abolition of charges is that this also applies to payment methods that are linked to your cards such as PayPal and ApplePay. The bad news is that charges can still be levied on other payments methods which include cheques.

This news has definitely been well received by savers as the adage ‘look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves’ couldn’t be truer.

This is actually the second piece of good news for prospective house buyers in the last few months as a change in Stamp Duty was announced in the Autumn Budget. The end of Stamp Duty on properties of up to £300,000 in value has already helped over 16,000 first time buyers get onto the first rung of the property ladder – at a time when it is so difficult to reach it!

January and Stamp Duty Changes

The average property price in the UK is £208,000 and typically, a 20% deposit is needed to secure a mortgage on this amount. Now that Stamp Duty has been abolished on all properties of up to £300,000, a saving of £1,600 is made which is great news.

For prospective first time buyers in London, the size of the 20% deposit needed is nearer £80,000! In reality, the Stamp Duty paid that would have been payable was up to £5,000, so this announcement has certainly been well received.

First time buyers who are purchasing a property costing more than £300,000 will only be charged Stamp Duty on the money over £300,000 – for example, Stamp Duty will be payable on £200,000 for a property valued at £500,000. The Chancellor’s announcement was aimed at stimulating the property market – particularly in the winter months when it is traditionally slower and also with Brexit on the horizon.

Unfortunately, at about the same time, the Nationwide announced an average rise in property prices during 2017 of 2.6%, but again, during the winter months, property sellers are usually more open to offers.

This content has been provided to us by Chris Stevens. Whilst believed to be factually correct, we cannot accept responsibility for content contained within it.

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About the author

Starting his career in Estate Agency, Jeff quickly moved up the ranks to manage his own office for Halifax Property Services. Co-founding Speed Property Buyers in 2008, he has applied this knowledge and overseen rapid expansion of the business.