The new timing of the Autumn budget in Late November meant that with the traditional downturn in the build up to Christmas it was hard to measure the impacts. Neglecting to mention interest rate relief and the additional three percent stamp duty on second homes sent out a clear message that both taxes are here to stay.
While many agents and investors held their heads in their hands I felt that this was not an unexpected result and one that in a way means that the market can finally adjust after months of speculation. What we have witnessed in January 2018 is that many investors who had sat on their hands hoping for a change now have a decision to make, bite the bullet and invest or move out of the residential property sector.
We have also seen a sharp uptake in valuations in properties for sale. The increase appears to be fuelled principally by two main factors. Landlords who are concerned about interest rate relief looking to downsize their portfolio reduce the debt and homeowners who have almost been trapped by the rate of capital gain over the past few years realising that now may well be the time to sell up and move onto to more suitable accommodation for their needs. The net result is that there is and will be more property coming to market and with fewer investment landlords in the market it should prove to be a better time for owner occupiers.
The rental market in central London has been unseasonably buoyant after a turbulent 2017. Usually very few people are looking to move in December due to the festive season and over spending during the festive season means that many plans are put on hold in January. This year it has bucked the trend. The reasoning for this has been a growing belief that capital values will fall over 2018 and it may be prudent to remain a tenant and keep a sharp eye on the sales market, this is particularly relevant for people who have a budget more than £2 million. This increase in demand has meant that we are starting to see rental values increase a fact that will no doubt exacerbate as more comes to the market for sale or is lost to the growing short let air b and b market.
Now more so than in recent years it is prudent to have an accurate valuation of your property so that you can plan best for the future. As ever if you would like us to carry out a valuation please do get in contact.
Rob Hill MBA
Director, Greater London Properties