UK Property Market Review Spring 2012
Following the Budget in March we are just beginning to see the reaction to property prices in April and importantly the responses from both buyers and vendors.
In the past, the property market has generally reacted well to financial changes and adjustments brought about by its own market forces or by changes the Government has forced upon it. Following the Budget in March we are just beginning to see the reaction to property prices in April 2012 and importantly the responses from both the buyers and the vendors.
Properties Over £2 Million and The County House Market
Most buyers looking to purchase properties over £2m are unlikely to put their lives on hold and abandon their house-hunting indefinitely, despite the added cost and impact of paying an additional 2% in Stamp Duty.
There is already a clear indication that selling agents and vendors, who are willing to take the advice of their agents, have reacted and adjusted their price guides accordingly; this has created a cluster of properties just below the £2m threshold. In the short term, demand at this level will undoubtedly be stronger.
The Country House market outside of the M25 in Southern England has enjoyed buoyant times for the last few years. However, at a time when the Government should be sustaining and encouraging this sector of the market, placing financial deterrents and hurdles that will affect this flourishing sector of the property market seems tactically naive and short sighted.
There is clear evidence too that families who put their property search
on hold, during uncertain economic times last year have finally decided
that ‘life must go on’! The UK appears to have avoided the ‘double dip’
recession, employers have restructured their businesses and there are
strong indications that for some, business growth is back on the agenda.
The real impact of the Stamp Duty hike at the higher end of the market has yet to be seen in its entirety, clearly after a period of close monitoring time will tell.
Off Shore Envelope Transactions
The general consensus among property professionals is that the tax on off shore ‘envelope’ transactions is an excellent deterrent. Since the budget an ex-client, who is a specialist property conveyancer in London, has continued to handle transactions for off shore businesses that have been prepared to pay the additional taxes irrespective! Proof that Russian, Chinese and more recently Italian and Greek money is almost impervious to the cost of purchasing premium priced property in the UK
Demand for Private Schools and Top Performing State Schools
Private schools and top performing state schools are all showing a shortage of school places and are filling up for the 2012/2013 academic year, another strong signal that people are committed to moving in time for September 2012. These are all significant and encouraging signs, supported by the number of clients who have recently retained Premier Property Search to help them in the property search process. Demand is defiantly more buoyant than in previous months.
Correctly Priced Properties Moving Quickly and Rental Demand High
Those properties that are correctly priced and marketed appropriately are selling well and quickly. However, it is noticeable in today’s market, when compared to previous years that unless the property goes under offer in the first three weeks of marketing vendors may have to be patient and sit it out for some considerable time.
There continues to be a shortage of properties at all price points, both for sale and to rent. At one end of the spectrum, would-be ‘first time buyers’ are still struggling to raise sufficient capital for their deposits; with salaries static and the increase in the cost of living they are unable to save.
The demand to rent at the lower end of the market remains very active. The demand for good quality family homes to rent in London and the Home Counties remains high. These are strong indicators that businesses and corporations are starting to move employees and their families in and out of the UK. The need for short serviced accommodation in key geographical areas is proving to be challenging.
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