Simon Tollit, director of central London sales at United Kingdom Sotheby’s International Realty, offers his thoughts on what property market trends we can expect over the coming year.
The biggest talking point in 2017 is undoubtedly going to be stamp duty, followed closely by further uncertainty surrounding Brexit.
There have been an increasing number of campaigns launched recently in favour of slashing stamp duty and this is fully expected to continue into 2017, until the policy is addressed.
Since the additional 3% tax was introduced in April, it has had a huge impact on the market as a whole, particularly in prime central London where prices are already high and many Londoners are prohibited from buying a second home. If small changes were to be made to the banding, the market would receive a much needed boost. What’s more, there should be further banding from the £1.5m threshold upwards, allowing the levy to be decreased in the lower price brackets.
Brexit will also continue to be widely talked about across the sector moving in to the New Year with ongoing uncertainty around how the market will react to the possible activation of Article 50 next year. What we do know is that uncertainty among buyers undoubtedly slows the market and prices become flat. However, we can be comforted in the knowledge that the UK property market is resilient and can bounce back from any period of insecurity, with London continuing to provide a safe haven for property investment.