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November 30, 2017

The future of the country property markets

Filed under: Latest News — Instinctif Partners @ 3:20 pm

Our Chairman, Nick Leeming, shares his insight on what we should expect to see in the country homes property market:

Our country branches expect to experience steady growth in the middle market next year (homes valued at £500,000 to £1 million). Some branches in the West Country are predicting prices to increase around 4% across 2018, but the overall sentiment in the South East is much different, with prices already at a peak and predicted to remain stable in 2018. Those seeking a swift and smooth sale in the South East will need to set pricing at realistic levels; buyers in the current market are too savvy to pay over the odds.

The Clock Tower is a magnificent 5 bedroom Grade II listed home, available through our Burnham Market branch for a guide price of £1,600,000.

Smaller, family-friendly homes will continue to experience an increase in demand as competition between families and downsizers continues. Overall, there is strong demand from families moving out of London in 2018, reflecting the trend of a desire for a more peaceful, tranquil lifestyle in the countryside. City workers are more willing to commute longer distances three to four days a week, especially if they can get a seat on the train and work on the journey, as well as work from home once or twice a week. This is expanding the commuter belt further, beyond the traditional Home Counties, even to the villages between Cirencester, Cheltenham and Stroud.

The Cotswolds remains a hotspot for families with parents wanting to increase the amount of time they can work from home, and give their children the best possible environment to grow up in. As for the traditional commuter locations, villages in East Anglia and the South East will remain favourites among families. However, with a limited supply of homes, competition between families and downsizers, who have the same dream home in mind, will be intense.

The new homes market in the country continues to be driven by buyers looking for high quality and well-sized new homes, valued between £250,000 and £750,000. Homes that require very little maintenance are particularly sought-after by downsizers in the South West. However, there is currently a scarce supply, due to planning policy, which favours new homes in urban extensions or new towns as opposed to the country.

November 24, 2017

First-time buyers celebrate stamp duty cut – but is this enough to fix our broken housing market?

Filed under: Latest News — Instinctif Partners @ 4:05 pm

Our Chairman, Nick Leeming, shares his insight on Chancellor Philip Hammond’s stamp duty announcement in the Autumn Budget:

It may have been a long time coming but Chancellor Philip Hammond has finally addressed the UK’s call for stamp duty reform, with the prohibitive tax abolished immediately for first-time buyers purchasing properties worth up to £300,000. To help those in London and other expensive areas, the first £300,000 of the cost of a £500,000 purchase by all first-time buyers will be exempt from stamp duty, with the remaining £200,000 incurring a 5% tax. For those first-time buyers who have been struggling to save enough to take their first step on the property ladder, this is a positive step in the right direction, particularly in addition to recent boosts from the Government’s Help to Buy scheme. In the most expensive parts of the country a typical first-time buyer home can attract a stamp duty land tax liability as high as £10,000, money that can now be entirely, or in large part, ploughed into a deposit or spent on making essential renovations in the vast majority of cases.

However, I do feel the Chancellor has missed a trick by failing to reduce stamp duty levels across the board and his decision to cut stamp duty for first-time buyers was more of a quick fix, as opposed to a long-term plan to help mend our broken housing market. High levels of stamp duty, particularly to the top end of the market, caused sales levels to fall by 8% in the last financial year, according to the HMRC’s Stamp Tax Statistics 2016 – 2017.

This fall in market activity can no longer be ignored and the Government must view the property market through the eye of the homeowner – particularly now The Bank of England has announced an interest rate rise. First home owners generally want to move up the ladder, to larger homes as their circumstances change and families expand. Stamp duty levels have acted as a brake across the entire market, preventing the likes of downsizers and second-steppers from making their moves. It is therefore very disappointing to have not seen a more comprehensive stamp duty reform, which would have inevitably increased overall fluidity to the benefit of all buyers.

November 15, 2017

The future of the London property market

Filed under: Latest News — Instinctif Partners @ 2:06 pm

Toby Whittome, Sales Director at Jackson-Stops London, shares his insights on what we should expect to see from the London property market next year:

With 2018 fast approaching it’s that time of year again when we offer up our London property market predictions for the next 12 months. It will come as no surprise when I say that punitive stamp duty levels and economic and political uncertainty have taken their toll on the Capital’s property market in 2017, but as we move into 2018 we do expect house price growth to remain stable. If Chancellor Philip Hammond fails to address stamp duty reform across all levels of the market in his upcoming Autumn Budget, high-value home owners (£1 million and above) will continue to feel the strain and sales levels and average prices will remain immobile. It is worth remembering that stamp duty land tax is not just causing issues for the top end of the market. Most people aspire to move up the property ladder and if owners of larger, more expensive homes are reluctant to sell up it can really stymie upward progress.


Located on the doorstep of Harrods, this two bedroom apartment is available for £3,150 per week through our Mayfair branch

Turning our attention to the rental market, we predict prices will overall remain the same, but with a possible increase of around 1%. A ‘magpie market’ is currently affecting the London rental market, with tenants parting with more money in exchange for well-located, exceptional quality rentals. This is having a knock-on impact on the lower end of the market, with properties remaining vacant as landlords are either no longer financially able or willing to spend time renovating. With Brexit negotiations underway, we can also expect to see an increase in young professionals currently renting in London becoming hesitant about renewing their contracts, as their employers start to seriously consider relocating their staff to locations such as Dublin and Frankfurt.

In more positive news, now is a good time to be a new home purchaser in London, and we expect this trend to continue into 2018. Although there is uncertainty around Brexit negotiations and the impact of the interest rate rise, such factors are unlikely to influence the ‘man on the street’s’ decision to buy a pristine, previously unlived in, new home. In central London, we will start to see listed housebuilders dominate supply, focusing their time on acquiring new sites where resales are under £800 per square foot. This suggests we may start to see a shortage of new homes over £1 million launching to the market, with buyers having to compete to bag their dream London home.