Author Archives: City & County

November market comment

This November has seen both an increase in interest rates and the abolition of SDLT (Stamp Duty) for first time buyers up to £300,000. Certainly the nominal 0.25% interest rate increase is unlikely to cause most homebuyers a problem. However, this first rate rise in a decade might be regarded as a tipping point for further increases in the coming year and the market remains subdued. This is despite the apparent windfall for first time buyers, which will almost certainly turn out to be inflationary.

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PhilipHammond - photo courtesy of Huffington Post

Budget Comment – SDLT removal is good news for sellers!

Philip Hammond, Chancellor of the Exchequer has announced the removal of SDLT (Stamp Duty) on all sales to first time buyers under £300,000 in his autumn statement. This is clearly great news for first time buyers, especially those paying the full £300,000, who pocket a tidy £5,000 towards their new home. More realistically, the saving made by the average first time buyer, who typically pays around £163,000, is just £760.

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Market Comment

The latest survey by the RICS reports a 20% increase in the number of their members who reported a fall, rather than a rise, in buyer demand last month. This is the sixth month of reported falling buyer enquiries. This is partly substantiated by Rightmove reporting an annual fall of 5.9% in the number of sales agreed.

Overall, the level of new instructions entering the market has risen by 3.1% annually which, when coupled with the fall in new buyers enquiries, positions us for a rebalancing of supply over demand. Fortunately, house prices have generally remained strong in this area, but how long this can hold out is debatable, as some areas, especially in London and the South East, are already seeing significant house price falls.

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Identity theft when moving house!

Recent research has shown that about a quarter of home-movers leave themselves open to some form of identity theft when they move, simply by failing to redirect their post promptly.

Indeed, almost half of all identity theft cases involve a previous address, and 70% of new occupants receive mail addressed to a past occupant. This often includes sensitive personal information, which can be used by a fraudster to obtain credit in your name.

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Manage your investment

Some landlords, especially those who are new to the experience, understandably wish to use a letting agent simply as a route to market in order to find a tenant. However, whilst a return on investment is one thing, sleeping well at night is quite another! A managed service is not just about chasing late rent, resolving disputes and inventory control.

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