UK Property Market – 2015

So what is going to happen to the UK property market in 2015?

Looking back, 2014 was generally a much better year – not as good as many expected, but expectations were always going to need to be managed.

The good news is that prices have stabilised in London.  The fear of a Bubble has receded thanks to Mr. Carney’s timely words over 2014.

So the UK property market actually remains pretty STEADY.

Actually it felt a bit flat, until George Osborne’s ‘rabbit-out-of-a-hat’ changes to Stamp Duty.

We welcome the reforms. An antiquated system has been reorganised in a much fairer way. It’s good news for the majority of property buyers, but the best news for the market as a whole is that, without the threat of the proposed Mansion Tax, the upper end of the market will be freed up, and buyers can act in the full knowledge of what tax will be payable.

The biggest difference of course is that this SDLT system is effectively discretionary rather than mandatory. The Mansion Tax system would have penalised those who already lived in properties worth more than £2m. The new system, announced today, only affects those who choose to buy.

There’s a likelihood that sales at the £2m mark will be affected. In the short term there is likely to a frenzy of re-negotiation at this level, and there will be a greater proportion of sales falling through in the coming weeks.

So there is opportunity out there for those prepared to put the work in before the General Election 2015.

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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