2016 Budget – what it means for property owners

George Osborne delivered his (now infamous) 2016 Budget a few weeks ago. Overshadowed by the all the on-off changes to disability benefits, were some changes that will affect both homeowners and buy-to-let investors throughout the year. 

Among these were amendments to both stamp duty and capital gains tax, while changes to ISA allowances are designed to help first-time buyers onto the property ladder. 

So what exactly do these changes entail, and when will they come into effect? 

Key changes for property owners 

The Chancellor confirmed that a 3% stamp duty surcharge will come into effect on April 1st 2016, and will apply to the purchase of second homes and buy-to-let properties. 

Osborne had previously discussed his plans to levy additional taxes on properties not intended for use as a primary residence, and he confirmed this surcharge despite pushback from landlords.

While Capital Gains Tax (CGT) rates were cut, these cuts are not applicable to gains made on residential property. This means that as of April 6, 2016, CGT for higher rate taxpayers will be lowered from 28 per cent to 20 per cent, and basic rate taxpayers can enjoy a lower rate of 10 per cent down from 18 per cent. However, sales of residential property will be unaffected and will therefore be taxed at current rates. 

While buy-to-let landlords may not have welcomed the budget with open arms, the UK’s first-time buyers finally received some good news. The Chancellor announced a Lifetime ISA for those who are under the age of 40 in April 2017. This enables account holders to save up to £4,000 a year, and the government will contribute a 25 per cent bonus (up to £1,000) on these savings at the close of the tax year. 

Tax dodgers penalized 

In what many are considering a positive move, Osborne also announced new legislation that will penalize offshore property developers who are not currently paying taxes. 

With the new Finance Bill in place, any developers building property in Britain must pay UK tax on the profits. The Treasury believes this crackdown will garner £2.28 billion in taxes by 2020. A specially set-up HMRC division will be tasked with identifying and collecting from offshore developers who are currently evading tax payments in the UK.

Chris Hounsome, partner at Mansell McTaggart in Crawley, said that "while buyers of second or investment property will be disappointed to have to pay the higher stamp duty, the higher tax bills will be absorbed by the fast-rising prices in the area”.

Tips for top tomatoes

Nobel Laureate Pablo Neruda has called the tomato the ‘star of the earth’ and not without reason. 

Tomatoes epitomize the ripe fullness of a fertile summer, and the best way to enjoy their rich flavours is to undoubtedly to grow them yourself. And given enough warmth tomatoes can be grown with very little effort.

First sow in a 3 inch deep container or seed tray and allow to germinate into tiny seedlings. Ensure that the seed compost you use for this is of good quality, and clearly label the pot with the seed name and the date of sowing. 

A window sill that gets abundant morning sunlight is ideal – inside is perfect until it really warms up as tomatoes don’t like the cold. 

Keep rotating the container daily to make sure all parts receive equal amounts of sunlight. Tomato seeds germinate best in temperatures ranging from 15°C to 20°C and need to be kept a little moist at all times.

Once the seeds germinate and the seedlings emerge, wait a few days for them to grow to 2-3 inches. When the roots start making their way through the drainage holes, the seedlings are ready to be picked out. Delicately hold them by the leaves using a dibber as the stems are too fragile, without damaging the roots as far as possible, and plant them in individual pots at least 5 inches deep. 

Next they need to hardened so place the trays outside during the day so they become strong enough to be replanted outdoors. Once the first flower-bearing trusses have formed, the tomato plants are finally ready to be planted outside. 

Plant them in a larger pot or growbag in a site with plenty of sunshine, and where the new tomato plants do not get buffeted by any cold wind or chilly breezes. A greenhouse is ideal, or one of those collapsible growhouses if you don’t have one or the space.

A good tip is to add a handful of crushed egg shells as a calcium supplement.

The gap between two plants should be 12 to 18 inches depending on the type of tomato being grown. Ensure that the plants are protected from cool temperatures by covering them, and place paper collars around each plant to deter cutworms.

As the plants grow, provide stakes for additional support. If you water your tomato patch regularly and keep the soil fertilized with organic matter, you should soon be able to harvest a bumper crop of ripe, succulent tomatoes filled with the goodness of nature – and hopefully way tastier than the supermarket ones!

Let us know how you get on with some photos: email phillip@phillipmann.com or pop them on our facebook page!


Mortgage lending up 30%

The Council of Mortgage Lenders says that gross mortgage lending reached £17.6 billion in February. 

This is 5% lower than January (£18.5 billion) but 30% higher than February last year (£13.6 billion) and the highest lending total for a February since 2008 when gross lending reached £24.1 billion.

Commenting on market conditions in this month’s market commentary, CML economist Mohammad Jamei said:

“Lending continues the year on a positive note, with our monthly estimate showing an increase of 30% in February compared to a year ago. This growth rate is in line with what we saw in the closing months of 2015. The recovery is being underpinned by market fundamentals in the UK, as wages grow and unemployment falls, helped by government schemes and competitive mortgage deals.

But we think it unlikely that there will be any significant acceleration in lending. While there may be a slight current boost to lending as some transactions seek to complete before the 1 April tax changes in the buy-to-let-sector, this is likely to be followed by a slight fall in activity. Affordability pressures continue to weigh on activity, as does the low number of properties coming on the market, though this has been improving very recently.”


What's on locally

Thanks to Seafordtown.co.uk, Newhaventown.co.uk and Peacehaventown.co.uk for these listings, which we have edited slightly. 

Italian Street Market - Italia in Piazza
Date: Friday 01 April 2016
Time: 9:00am - 4:30pm
Where: Sutton Road
Town: Seaford
Website: www.seafordchamber.co.uk

Italia in Piazza, the real Italian Food Market.

Newhaven Country Market

Date: Friday 01 April 2016
Time: 9:45am - 1:00pm
Where: Hillcrest Community Centre, BN9 9EA
Town: Newhaven
Email: info@hillcrestcentre.co.uk
Phone: 01273 512376
Website: www.hillcrestcentre.co.uk

Every Thursday morning. Organisers say: “A selection of locally baked, grown and crafted produce, with all the food producers having the required food hygiene certificates and food premises accreditation. FREE parking, disabled access, toilets and café.” Admission free.

Fish and Chip Bingo
Date: Friday 01 April 2016
Time: 7:00pm
Where: Denton Island Indoor Bowls Club
Town: Newhaven
Phone: 01273 514 664

Tickets £5. Fish and Chips £5 extra.

To book tickets please call in and pay either Tracy or Pam on reception.

RNLI Newhaven Sovereign Seas Folk Festival
Date: (Starts) Saturday 02 April 2016 - Sunday 03 April 2016
Time: 2:00pm - 5:30pm
Where: Newhaven Lifeboat House, West Quay BN9 9BX
Town: Newhaven
Email: rnlinewhaven.society@hotmail.co.uk
Phone: 01273 515 964
Website: rnli.org.uk

RNLI Newhaven is proud to announce a weekend of fantastic Folk with the Sovereign Seas Folk Festival.

Following the 2015 Festival success, Hard Pressed and other invited guests, including internationally respected singer/songwriter John Conolly, are returning to perform at Newhaven Lifeboat House, raising vital funds in aid of RNLI Newhaven.

Tickets for individual concerts:
Flow Tide Concert - Saturday 2nd April 2pm - £5
High Tide Concert - Saturday 2nd April 7.30pm - £7 (with John Conolly)
Ebb Tide Concert - Sunday 3rd April 2pm - £9 (with John Conolly)
Weekend ticket for all concerts just £17.

Support your local lifeboat - Respect the water.

Historic Guided Tour of Seaford

Date: Saturday 02 April 2016
Time: 10:30am
Where: 37 Church Street
Town: Seaford
Phone: 01323 897 426
Website: www.sussextalks.co.uk

Join local historian Kevin Gordon on a “historic and entertaining guided tour” which leaves from the Tourist Information Office.

Tickets available from the Tourist Information Office or by phone and website at a cost of £5 each.

East Blatchington Lectures
Date: Tuesday 05 April 2016
Time: 2:30pm
Where: St Peter's Church, Belgrave Road
Town: Seaford

This year's series starts with a talk by the art historian Kay Blackburn about “one of the most intriguing English painters, Joseph Wright of Derby an 18th century painter, talented and versatile, who developed new and original subjects, including night scenes, scientific experiments and early industrial scenes”.

Tickets are £7 which includes tea and cake and are available on the day or from Newberry Tully Estate Agent, Church Street.

Newhaven Historical Society - Forgotten Wrecks of World War I

Date: Tuesday 05 April 2016
Time: 7:30pm
Where: Hillcrest Community Centre, Bay Vue Road BN9 9EA
Town: Newhaven
Phone: 01273 515 404
Website: www.newhavenhistoricalsociety.org.uk/

Speaker Stephen Fisher of the Maritime Archaeological Trust. “In 2014 the MAT was awarded funding by the Heritage Lottery Fund for the projects Forgotten Wrecks of the First World War. With over a 1000 wrecks along the south coast there are many stories of bravery and sacrifice. “

Breakfast event with Sussex Chamber of Commerce
Date: Wednesday 06 April 2016
Time: 7:00am - 8:30am
Where: Woody's Bar and Grill, Peacehaven Golf Club, Brighton Road
Town: Newhaven
Email: info@newhavenchamber.co.uk
Phone: 01273 517 544

A joint event with Sussex Chamber of Commerce and special guest speaker Captain Francois Jean, Newhaven Port Manager.

BOOKING ESSENTIAL Cost: £9.50 per person

The Seaford Community Garden - in the Crouch

Date: Wednesday 06 April 2016
Time: 9:30am - 12:30pm
Where: Crouch Gardens, East Street
Town: Seaford
Website: www.seaford-sussex.co.uk/scg/index.html

The famous Seaford Community Garden (East Street) is open every Wednesday morning from 9.30am to 12.30pm. Not open on Saturdays until the Summer.

The organisers say “It is well worth a visit. Come and look at our displays and produce. Some will also be available to take away! We'll be getting our plots rearranged and generally tidying up, potting up and getting our garden in good order for the Spring. We have lots of bulbs just coming into flower for indoors display.

We welcome volunteer help from all in the community, especially the retired, and the disadvantaged sector. Come and help us plant, pick and weed!”

Seaford Community Cinema - In Search of Beethoven
Date: Friday 08 April 2016
Time: 7:30pm
Where: The Barn Theatre, Saxon Lane, BN25 3ST
Town: Seaford
Phone: 01323 897 426
Website: www.seafordcinema.org/screenings/in-search-of-beethoven/

Tickets: £6/£5/£3.50 from the Tourist Information Office

Lunchtime Concert - Sussex Flutes

Date: Saturday 09 April 2016
Time: 1:00pm
Where: St Leonard's Church, Church Street,
Town: Seaford

Sussex Flutes is a versatile quintet playing all sizes of flutes from bass to piccolo. Their programme will include arrangements of well-known works and music composed for them by contemporary Brighton composers.

Free Admission with a retiring Collection.

Concert lasts approximately an hour.

Murder Mystery Evening - A Death on the Ocean Waves

Date: Saturday 09 April 2016
Time: 7:00pm
Where: Main Hall, Community House, Meridian Centre
Town: Peacehaven
Phone: 01273 585 493
Website: www.peacehavencouncil.co.uk

Ship ahoy! Who did it? Can you solve the murder? Tickets available from the Information Office at the Meridian Centre. Bring your own food & drink.

Bingo evening
Date: Friday 15 April 2016
Time: 7:00pm
Where: Main Hall, Community House, Meriidian Centre
Town: Peacehaven
Phone: 01273 585 493
Website: www.peacehavencouncil.co.uk

Cash Prizes, 8 games for £4 + flyer & snowball games.

Band of Brothers Concert

Date: Saturday 16 April 2016
Time: 7:00pm - 9:30pm
Where: Denton Church, Heighton Road BN9 0RB
Town: Denton
Email: rosemary.cutbush@gmail.com
Phone: 01273 611 384

A Charity Concert with a lively and varied mix of folk, gospel, country, blues and classic rock/pop with stunning guitar.

All proceeds to 'Link to Hope' (formerly Link Romania), helping to rebuild lives and communities in Eastern Europe. Tickets £5. Refreshments and Raffle.

Award Winning Comic Andy Kind 'Comedy Night'
Date: Friday 22 April 2016
Time: 8:00pm
Where: Seaford Head Golf Course, Southdown Road
Town: Seaford
Email: chris@christopherashurst.co.uk
Phone: 01323 521 125
Website: kingsseaford.eu/andykind

A great evening raising money for the amazing Chestnut Tree Hospice. Book tickets online.

£5 entrance

Cliff Face Projection Presentation EveningDate: Saturday 23 April 2016 

Time: 8:00pm
Where: Steyning Avenue, Promenade
Town: Peacehaven
Phone: 01273 585 493
Website: www.peacehavencouncil.co.uk/

Everyone welcome. A food & drinks van available, wrap up warm! Part of the on-going Town's 100th year celebrations

Peacehaven Players : Mini Market
Date: Saturday 30 April 2016
Time: 9:00am - 12:00 Midnight
Where: Main Hall, Community House, Meriidian Centre
Town: Peacehaven

Organisers say: “come along and join us for a cup of tea and have a look around the stalls for our fund raising event”.

Seaford Choral Society, Spring Concert
Date: Saturday 30 April 2016
Time: 7:30pm
Where: St. Leonard's Church, Church Street
Town: Seaford
Phone: 01323 891 307
Website: www.seaaford-choral-society.com

Anna Tabor conducts Mozart's 'Mass in C Minor' and Vaughan Williams 'Benedicite' with “excellent soloists and orchestra accompaniment”.

Retiring collection for The Autistic Society.

Tickets £12 and £6 for children 16 and under, from Newbury Tully Estate Agents, 53 Church Street Seaford. Also from choir members or at the door.

Win £25 Amazon voucher

Find which property on our website this roofline belongs to, and you could win a £25 Amazon voucher.

Find it on our site (hint: peacehaven) and email your answer to Debbie@phillipmann.com


People move fewer than 9 miles

New research from the removals website, reallymoving.com, show that half of all their home-moves were fewer than nine miles from the starting address.

The analysis, based on 200,000 quotes supplied by the website, goes on to say that the average distance is 52 miles, presumably skewed by a few people moving a very, very long way!


Sign up for our newsletter