How to navigate the 2019 property market

Nick Leeming, Chairman of Jackson-Stops, shares his thoughts on how both buyers and sellers should tackle the property market this year.

Although we are still left none the wiser of our position outside of the EU, many branches across the consortium are reporting good levels of activity.  It is becoming apparent that as our uncertain market becomes the ‘new normal’, both buyers and sellers are coming to the conclusion that now is as a good a time as any to make a move while interest rates remain relatively low.

Do your research

If you want your home to sell it’s imperative that you take some time to do your research. Before consulting an agent, the first step is to scope out the local market. How many properties similar to your own are currently available in the area and for what price? With properties tending to sell for the best price in the first four weeks of it launching to the market, it isn’t advisable to start with an unachievably high guide price. This is a classic mistake many vendors make and will often only lead to them having to reduce the price six months to a year down the line.

Make the most of mortgage rate cuts

Interestingly, prominent lenders such as HSBC are cutting their mortgage rates, including their 10-year fixed-rate loan products, which is particularly welcome news for first-time buyers and those looking to remortgage their properties over the next few months. Although a decade long fixed rate mortgage may seem like a big commitment, particularly to those new to the market, locking yourself in could provide the assurance you need while the UK navigates through Brexit, and the wider uncertain political and economic landscape.

The stamp duty benefits of mixed-use properties

With it looking unlikely that any reform will be made to stamp duty rates on properties in the middle to top end of the market over the course of the year, I would encourage buyers looking for higher value properties to consider mixed-use homes. Whilst Capital Gains Tax liabilities can be large here, commercial stamp duty land tax rates can apply to purchases that include offices or land that is clearly agricultural. Therefore, if you’re looking to purchase upwards of £2 million, finding a mixed-use home could save you thousands in stamp duty costs.

For those undeterred by stamp duty costs, the best advice I can give buyers is to do your research. There is a limited supply of stock coming to the market currently and so if a property ticks all of the boxes in terms of price, location, access to key amenities and good transport links, I would advise you to really consider purchasing the home.

If you have any queries around buying or selling your home this year, please get in touch with your local branch.