At the end of last year there was a lot of hype about an expected Q1 rush from investor and second home buyers trying to complete on purchases before 1st April 2016 when the extra 3% stamp duty (SDLT) kicks in.
Whilst we’ve had a very busy start to the year with new clients, particularly within the past week, common sense and reason still firmly remain in the market.
Approx. 50% of our client base falls into the investor or second home owner category so the extra SDLT is very much a factor for them and they are keen to complete pre-April if possible – and most of them will do so.
However where we have sourced a choice of properties for clients, they have still opted to choose their genuine favourite – regardless of whether it can be completed on before April. Equally, where a client would prefer to start their search in a few months’ time for financial or personal reasons, they are sticking with this, rather than pressing ahead when they’re not quite ready. They are therefore taking a very pragmatic approach and not participating for the sake of it.
In fact some clients have been voicing concerns about the market becoming inflated in the run up to April. We haven’t seen this yet, but certain areas are experiencing a very fast turnover of properties going under offer and we’re having to rely on getting clients in off market to avoid missing out.