Owners of high value properties in Yorkshire may be leading the charge to get their homes re-valued if Conservative Party plans to change inheritance tax are announced in tomorrow’s Budget.
Proposed changes would mean inheritance tax would be directly linked to the value of homes for the first time. Analysis of Land Registry data by NFU Mutual, the UK’s leading rural insurer and financial advice firm, has identified tax hotspots in the country where a high proportion of homes are worth more than the proposed £1m cap.
A rush for market valuations could bring peace of mind for those with tax concerns but may leave looming insurance problems for up to a third of families living in high-value or listed homes which are more expensive to repair or rebuild.
Paul Turner from NFU Mutual in Harrogate said: “If you don’t know how much your home is worth, both in terms of its market value and its rebuild cost, then there’s a real danger that you and your family could lose out.
“Around three in every ten homes are undervalued by their owners, leaving families at risk of underinsurance and an unexpected tax bill.”
Around 80 per cent of million pound homes sold in England and Wales in the last 15 years are in London and the South East*, but there are concentrations of expensive homes across the rest of the country, including areas of Yorkshire.
Paul added: “We expect there will be a rush to re-value these properties as parents and grandparents look to hand down as much as they can to their families.
“Many homes in the region are listed, or were bought so long ago their owners may have no idea of their current market or rebuild value, making them vulnerable to underinsurance.
“It’s also likely that families have overlooked the subject of handing down the family property as many do not view their home as an asset, or simply find such conversations difficult.
“It’s clear from these results that thousands more people need to take action if they want to make sure their biggest financial asset remains in the family. A valuation and some simple tax planning would help to make sure people are fully protecting what is rightfully theirs.”
The Conservative Party outlined plans for a new transferrable main residence allowance in its election manifesto earlier this year. The move, expected to be announced by George Osborne in his Budget speech tomorrow, would increase the effective inheritance tax threshold for married couples and civil partners to £1 million.