Stamp duty reforms provide positive signs for housing market

It's good news for owners of country homes, says chartered surveyor Sue Crossley
It's good news for owners of country homes, says chartered surveyor Sue Crossley
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A HAMPSHIRE member of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors says new figures make good reading for the housing market.

The monthly RICS Residential Market Survey said November was the eighth successive month in which there had been a drop in letting instructions and that was likely to lead to rents increasing by around two per cent in the next 12 months.

Sue Crossley, a chartered surveyor and owner of The Country House Company in Hambledon, said the firm’s experience of the letting market during November had been broadly similar.

‘We have continued to take instructions from the owners of cottages and country houses across Hampshire, Sussex and Surrey who want to let their property rather than sell it at this stage,’ she said.

‘But there is no doubt that there are more people looking for properties than there are properties available and that is bound to have an effect on the rents property owners can expect.

‘Now is a very good time for owners of country homes in the south who don’t want to sell for one reason or another to consider letting their property. We have lots of people looking for very specific properties in rural and countryside locations.’

The RICS survey said most of its members who responded expected an increase in house sales of between two and five per cent as a result of the reform of stamp duty announced in the chancellor’s Autumn Statement.

Sue said they expected the same rise at The Country House Company – although the biggest change is likely to come with those properties valued up to £937,000 which is where the benefits of the reform are felt.

‘We are expecting more home owners with properties in that price bracket to come forward now because there is renewed confidence among purchasers as a result of this stamp duty reform,’ said Sue.

‘And I would expect there would be some rub-off of confidence from that movement in the housing market to spread to those properties we are marketing in the £1m-plus price range.

‘Some potential purchasers are sitting tight until they see what happens in the general election in the spring but generally I think the outlook for the property market in 2015 is looking promising.’