It would seem that there are copious number of willing vendors all wanting to have their properties valued and wishing to sell, but, according to many selling agents, there is also a tremendous amount of reluctance to take the plunge and start fully marketing their homes.
We are currently retained by a cross section of willing and importantly, proceed-able cash buyers, but there is a real lack of properties, confirming that while the current market is relatively positive, the present imbalance of supply and demand is entirely in the sellers’ favour.
The half way measure is that there are currently an increased number of ‘bottom draw’ properties available and, in particular, those of higher value. The challenge for the selling agent is to achieve a premium price from a quality buyer with virtually no marketing activity making the need for a professional buying agent even more important.
Today’s reason for not selling, is simply the reluctance to make the decision until after the outcome of the General Election due in less than two weeks’ time. So what, if anything, will we know then, that we don’t know now?!
The residential property market will continue to be price sensitive; business and broad economic confidence which has been growing steadily will hopefully continue to do so, unemployment figures have been hitting an all-time low and will hopefully remain there, so the prospect of an increase in interest rates seems further away than previously predicted.
In this spring election report we at Premier Property Search have tried to predict which political party will help Britain’s homeowners the most. The one common denominator amongst all political parties is that the property market and housing will be a big issue at the election on 7th May.
They all also agree that the country needs to build more properties.
The Labour Party:
Has promised to double the number of first-time buyers over the next 10 years. At the same time, they aim to build 200,000 new homes, many of them in the form of social and local authority housing.
Has strongly hinted that they will introduce a ‘mansion tax’ on properties worth £2-3 million. This will mean an estimated extra £250 property tax per month. Furthermore, owners of second homes and properties owned by companies worth ‘tens of millions’ would pay even more property tax.
The Conservative Party:
If elected, they will deliver 100,000 new homes, at a 20 per cent discount, to first-time buyers under 40.
They also hope to appeal to everyday homeowners and homebuyers by fixing stamp duty to between zero and four per cent, on houses worth less than £937,500. Meanwhile, up at the top end of the market, they are increasing it to 7.9 per cent on houses sold for £2.1 million, pushing up the stamp duty bill by around £18,500.
The Liberal Democrats:
Intend to raise more revenue by reviewing council tax bands, and by increasing the amount payable on £2m+ valued properties.
They are also committed to building 300,000 new homes per year. Some of these will be social housing, and some will take the form of newly-created garden cities, built along the railway-line between Oxford and Cambridge.
Would abolish inheritance tax, allowing people to pass property and financial wealth down to their heirs without paying anything to the public purse.
They would also protect Britain’s green belt, which means new homes could not be build there. Instead they would encourage houses to be built on brownfield sites by exempting them from Stamp Duty.
The Green Party:
Would scrap the Help to Buy scheme, saying it did nothing to help those in the greatest housing need and contributed to excessive demand.
They would make buy-to-let less attractive by removing tax incentives such as the deduction of mortgage interest as an expense and reforming the “wear and tear” allowance. The aim would be to reduce pressure on house prices.
They would also introduce new higher council tax bands for more expensive homes, with higher rates for empty homes.Following a recent visit and lobbying from the Listed Property Owners Club there may be an opportunity that whichever political party or coalition is elected, a future Government may look favorably on reducing VAT on repairs and alterations, a benefit for owners of listed properties.
Despite the recovery from the recent recession combined with a positive economic and financially stable climate, many are still finding it impossible to get onto the first rung of the property market. Without exception, all the political parties want more people on the housing ladder. The challenge for them all, is how to achieve this objective.
The outcome of the 2015 General Election unquestionably promises to be interesting from a property prospective for both those who are planning to trade-up and those who are preparing to take their first step.
With a number of retained clients anxious to find and buy their ideal property, some to coincide with the new academic school term that commences in September 2015, the reluctance of people wishing to sell their properties will finally be over. That is until vendors find the next reason to stay put and not sell!