The RICS Report and Estate Agents
As reported by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), property companies in the UK did report an overall slowdown in property sales throughout 2015 and 2016, save for a spike in property sales from February to March 2016. This 71% increase was down to stamp duty changes that came into effect in April 2016.
London property companies reported fewer transactions as the property market in our nation's capital experienced a slowdown in property sales. The premium prices of the London property market, combined with an increase in stamp duty, is generally accepted to be the reason for property companies reporting a marked slowdown in property sales after April 2016.
Despite increased stamp duty, the RICS housing forecast for 2017 has predicted a much more stable year for property companies and the market. Homeowners can expect an approximate 3% rise in property prices, in line with recent trends. This will lead to increased house price affordability, benefitting property companies as there will be more buyers able to afford to purchase homes.
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What to Expect in the Coming Months
As initially outlined in the Autumn Statement, property companies can expect a clampdown on letting fees. The phasing out of buy-to-let tax relief should also come into effect from April 2017.
House prices are also expected to rise across the UK, albeit at a far steadier rate than in years past. East Anglia, the North West and West Midlands are expected to see greater property price gains than the national average. Property companies and homeowners should also expect to see house prices in Central London stabilise after recent declines, with the weaker exchange rate encouraging more foreign investment.
However, positive trading in the months following the EU referendum suggest that any negative impact felt by the UK property market, resulting from Brexit may still be some way off.
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