Autumn 2015

First signs of the Autumn market 2015 is that there could be a lack of stock. Our message throughout 2015 has been – ‘if you want to move, get into the market now, there are opportunities for buyers’. If you want to move in the next 6 months, you have got to work at it.

The spectre of Mansion Tax has largely disappeared. The Conservative victory is likely to invigorate the housing market. There should be more choice as people decide to make that (delayed) move, and we expect to see more property coming to the market, albeit slowly.

We don’t expect much movement in price, as we expect increased supply to match pent-up demand. Without doubt, there are good deals to be done. Our advice to buyers – get active now.

The good news is that prices have stabilised in London and should remain relatively stable across the UK.

We welcome the reforms to Stamp Duty. An antiquated system has been reorganised in a much fairer way. It’s good news for the majority of property buyers. The biggest difference of course is that this SDLT system is effectively discretionary rather than mandatory. The new system only affects those who choose to buy. However, sales at the £2m+ plus have already been seriously affected, with SDLT now a significant, material factor.

The London market has slowed up considerably and the main reason is Stamp Duty. Vendors have got to realise that if they are selling a house over £1.5m+, they have got to help buyers absorb the higher Stamp Duty costs associated with buying.

We might get a new Council tax system; watch this space.

Those looking to move from London to the Country are still being presented with a once-in-a-generation opportunity to swap a moderate London property for a spectacular rural home. If you are planning to make the London-to-Country move in the foreseeable future, depending on your circumstances and position, you want to get on with it.

Vendors have absolutely no excuses for asking excessive prices – just because we have a new Conservative Government, it doesn’t mean your house is worth more than it was before May 7th. Vendors, please, please, please no more silly asking prices. Speak to your local estate agents. Trust their judgement as to the price your property will sell at.

The divide between London and Commutable Country remains constant, and the rest of the Country follows. We have seen improved activity in the Country. As expected, there has been an increase in Londoners cashing in on good London prices and moving to the country. As usual, the M3/M4/M40 corridors and the West Country are strong.

The property market is about people, and people have to move house – there are now over 5 million properties that might have been expected to change hands since 2007/08, which haven’t. Mainly because they haven’t come to the market.

A great many houses are potentially for sale, but not on the market. However, many properties are being ‘marketing quietly’ e.g. agents are seeing what interest there may be in a property, without going to the expense of marketing and brochures, or even placing it on a property portal.

The clever vendors are aggressively marketing their houses with good agents at the right price – a keen, competitive, fair and reasonable price. Our advice to sellers would be – ‘be realistic’.

If you are selling and buying, start looking for your new home now, and certainly from the moment that your current property goes on the market. (If you want help getting a good local estate agent round to ask their advice on selling your property, just contact us and we will put you in touch).

On the assumption that most people have to buy AND sell a property, it’s a good time to be moving. And for those living in London, a generational opportunity to buy that home in the Country.

To hear more, contact us and our local offices.

James Greenwood

 

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