Large pipeline of sales but lack of homes coming on the market

PUBLISHED: 20:44 06 October 2017 | UPDATED: 20:44 06 October 2017

Will Philip Hammond bow to the pressure to scrap stamp duty which has had such a detrimental effect on the housing market?

Will Philip Hammond bow to the pressure to scrap stamp duty which has had such a detrimental effect on the housing market?

Put your property on the market now and enjoy an ‘historic lack of competition’ says Andrew Pointen, of Pointens.

Andrew PointenAndrew Pointen

As 2017 is now drawing slowly to a close, I have been reflecting on what has been a very strange 12 months in the property market.

Looking back to early 2106, the property market was very buoyant and active. There was a very good balance of properties coming to the market and an equal number of good buyers waiting, and willing, to snap them up. Then two things happened – first, in April, the chancellor implemented his plans to increase stamp duty on second homes, holiday homes and buy to let properties. Previously, anybody purchasing second homes or holiday homes etc. would be required to pay the same level of stamp duty as somebody who only owned one home. The new stamp duty levels meant that buying a second home would incur the buyer with substantial stamp duty liabilities. With properties in the £1million bracket and over, stamp duty could now mean a tax bill of over £100,000, just for the privilege of owning a second home. This, I believe, made some purchasers a little more cautious. Next, in June 2016, against all the poll predictions and, I believe, most people expectations, Britain voted to come out of the European Union. I have to be honest, throughout the summer of 2016 I was waiting for the wheels to fall off the wagon because, in my experience, when faced with the good ship unknown being tossed around on the turbulent seas of uncertainty, people tend to get nervous of what the future holds and they tend to wait out the storm by sitting on their hands and doing nothing. However, throughout September and October 2016 everything was still rosy in the garden. Come November, and the property market seemed to grind to a halt. Properties coming to the market just seemed to dry up and this continued throughout the winter. Like most agents, I was hoping the arrival of spring would invigorate vendors and we would see an increase in stock. Easter came and went - still a lack of stock. Summer came and went - still very few properties coming to the market. Then, finally, in late August through September the property market seemed to cough and splutter its way back to life. Plenty of properties and plenty of buyers. As I sit here writing this, we have a large pipeline of sales and many disappointed buyers because once again there seems to be a distinct lack of properties coming to the market. Why? Nobody seems to know. After all, no further winds of uncertainty have blown through the property market. Traditionally, vendors think autumn and winter are not the best times to commence marketing a property. This year, however, I have to say, autumn and winter will be a great time. With many disappointed buyers still looking to purchase a property, the shrewd vendor will realise that with limited competition from other properties they are likely to get a higher price for their own property. So, if you’re considering selling, my advice is to take advantage of this historic lack of competition!

Andrew Pointen, of Pointens, sponsors of this column is on 01263 711880 or see www.pointens.co.uk

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