Pre-Election Opportunities

So what is happening in the 2015 UK property market so far?

The good news is that prices have stabilised in London.  The fear of a Bubble has receded, so the UK property market actually remains pretty STEADY.

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 affected, with lower transaction levels both in and out of London.  Part of the drop-off can be explained by the fear of Mansion Tax – it’s really more the fears of the uncertainties over Mansion tax.

In our view, Mansion Tax is largely a red herring and should be ignored.  Politicians have been grand-standing on the idea, but continually row back when it comes to the detail.  Yes, we might get a new Council tax system or we might get a Mansion Tax or we might get both, but they will be relatively benign.  It is a period of uncertainty, but the ‘known unknowns’ are not the bogeymen some would have you believe.  Life will go on after the Election.

So there is opportunity out there for those prepared to put the work in before the General Election 2015.  Many buyers are sat on their hands, doing nothing.

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 start get on with it.

Vendors have absolutely no excuses for asking excessive prices now. 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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