Property Market – Summer 2016

Our message remains – ‘if you want to move, get into the market now, there are some great opportunities for buyers’.  In our view, the uncertainty of the Referendum remains an opportunity for committed buyers – uncertainty = opportunity.

We don’t expect much movement in price over the next 12 months. Quite clearly the London market has plateaued, and supply should match demand in most sectors. Without doubt, there are good deals to be done. Our advice to buyers – get active now.

So that’s good news – prices have stabilised in London and should remain relatively stable across the UK.

Whilst the reforms to Stamp Duty is good news for the majority of property buyers, there has been considerable fall-out. 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 thought we might get news of a move towards an improved Council tax system, but the Government seems hell-bent on building more houses, rather than using the existing housing stock more effectively.

The 3% Stamp Duty surcharge on second homes and buy-to-let properties we expect to see passed straight on to buyers and tenants, but, again, negotiate hard.

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. 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. There has been an increase in Londoners cashing in on good London prices and moving to the country, but not as many as we might have expected, considering the gap between London and Country prices. 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, 2016 is 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 Greeenwood

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