Stamp duty cut has not helped first-time buyers - RICS
Stamp duty cut has not helped first-time buyers - RICS
CONFIDENT RICS residential property spokesman Samuel Dickey
18 January, 2018, 15:31
The results of the December 2017 RICS UK Residential Market Survey still show a slowdown in headline momentum, with short-term indicators slightly negative or relatively unchanged.
House prices were recorded as a marginal increase in line with other measures, while tenant demand was reported as falling in December.
The stamp duty cut for first-time buyers has failed to give the United Kingdom housing market an immediate boost, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).
Respondents were also asked to consider the likely impact on the market over the coming months. 12%, however, thought it might result in higher activity overall, with 28% of London respondents taking this view.
In contrast potential purchasers in the North displayed much more enthusiasm as new buyer enquires rose by 25 per cent and newly agreed sales by 14 per cent last month. The only areas to see an uplift in transactions were Scotland, the North East and Northern Ireland, with the remaining areas across the United Kingdom staying flat or seeing a modest decline.
However, there were more inquiries from prospective buyers than sellers during the month, suggesting a continued gap between supply and demand.
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Northern Ireland respondents indicated that prices here continued on an upward trajectory in December, and local surveyors remain amongst the most optimistic in the United Kingdom regarding the near-term price outlook. However, 23 per cent of contributors noted that appraisals were higher this December than last.
The Chief Economist at the RICS, Simon Rubinsohn, comments: "The initial feedback from the market doesn't suggest that the change in the Stamp Duty regime announced in the Budget is going to have a material impact on activity".
A transaction worth £208,000, the average price paid by a first-time buyer, would previously have been liable for a stamp duty payment of £1,660 - but a first-time buyer will now pay nothing. "This is clearly evident in the sales expectations figures, which still remain in positive territory in more than half of the areas surveyed in the report".
However, NI members did not expect a substantial increase, although their belief prices would go up at all made them among the most optimistic in the UK.
He continues: "The current situation will mean a continued reliance on the private rental sector, so it's welcome news that the Government will be opening a consultation on how to encourage landlords to offer longer tenancies".
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