Experts are predicting a 2-5 percent drop in London house prices, with low numbers of new properties being put on the market being named as the key factor. Demand is also falling, and in December 45 percent more RICS members reported a decline in buyer interest than had the previous month – this was the sixth consecutive month in which demand dropped.
As with any general election, the uncertainty about what the government will look like come May has led to more caution at the top end of the market. Simultaneously, sellers who are reluctant to take low offers are holding off on taking their properties to market.
Elsewhere in the country figures tell a very different story, and in Northern England, the South West and parts of Scotland buyer interest looks to be on the rise – reflecting increased confidence in the economy on the part of many consumers. Changes in stamp duty regulations have also given many people cause for optimism; In December’s Autumn Statement George Osborne announced stamp duty reforms that will take a large burden off many buyers. He has achieved this by introducing a graduated system for calculating prices.
RICS’s chief economist, Simon Rubinsohn, has said that: “The changes to stamp duty are expected to provide a timely boost to activity in the housing market across most of the country, but there remain significant challenges, particularly for first-time buyers seeking to take an initial step on to the property ladder.”
Despite the positive outlook in some parts of the country, many RICS members still believe that there will be a 5 to 10 percent drop in sales throughout 2014.
Only time will tell whether these predictions come to pass, but whatever happens we at Search Mortgage Solutions will remain committed to finding the best mortgage for all of our clients. We are dedicated to helping you navigate the ups and downs of the turbulent London housing market, and finding a mortgage which suits your needs. If you’re in need of a mortgage broker in London, please feel free to contact us: a friendly member of our team will be happy to assist with any enquiries that you may have.