Source: Property Wire
New Prime Minister Boris Johnson could be
positive for the UK’s property market, particularly if he delivers
Brexit on time and reforms stamp duty, according to industry
Although change may not come quickly as it is likely
he will focus initially on getting Brexit sorted out, although that on
its own will give more certainty to the housing market. The overall feel
is that he will inject more enthusiasm into the sector.
has continued to be something of a grey cloud that has loomed over the
top end of the market for nigh on three years now and continues to be
the driving force behind its instability, particularly in prime central
London,’ said Lisa Simon, head of residential at Carter Jonas.
from Johnson around the relief of onerous taxes is a potentially
positive move for the market but this all hinges on whether or not the
new Prime Minister can hold his position and prevail against the
opposition in the event of a general election,’ she explained.
believes that it might be better to adopt more of a Jeremy Hunt mindset
and she thinks his proposed policies would have served home owners
well. ‘Hunt’s plans to put more steam behind the private rental sector
and allowing councils to buy land, to commission more homes at a price
people can afford, would have made home ownership more accessible to
aspiring first time buyers in the capital and so Johnson should consider
bringing Hunt’s vision for housing to life under his own leadership,’
she pointed out.
‘Johnson’s intentions to generate more movement
in the top end should clear some of the blockages further down the chain
but home ownership and affordability in the mass market is still an
issue that is yet to be addressed in the right way. While benefits to
the top end should filter down, Johnson should be driving forward
policies that tackle challenges in the middle and lower end of the
market more head on,’ she added.
According to Camilla Dell,
manging director at Black Brick, a move to reverse the stamp duty
increases put in place by George Osborne, when the top rate increased
from 7% to 12%, would be very good news, particularly for the London
market which has been suffering from an onslaught of tax hikes on
property since the end of 2014.
is now clear evidence that the stamp duty increases have started to
dent the tax take. We would welcome a review of current property
taxation, particularly the 3% surcharge and proposed 1% additional
charge on foreign buyers, which has had the effect of pouring glue into
the market and resulting in a dramatic fall in the number of
transactions happening on an annual basis,’ she explained.
a move to cut stamp duty on homes below £500,000 would clearly benefit
the first-time buyer market. In our opinion, this should only apply to
first time buyers and not investors. However, the market needs to treat
promises made by Boris Johnson with real caution,’ she added.
Nichols, chief executive officer of Portico estate agents, pointed out
that it is no secret that stamp duty hampers household mobility and the
higher the tax, the more difficult it is for people to move and keep the
‘We saw the market go into standstill when George
Osborne hiked up stamp duty for homes valued at £925,000 or more in
2014. There was a huge spike in volume as investors and second-home
buyers rushed to buy properties before the stamp duty changes came into
effect in April,’ he said.
‘But as quickly as volumes went up,
they came down again dramatically and in Westminster, prime central
London, we saw volumes drop to below 100 transactions in a month to a
record low of 84. If Boris Johnson does reduce stamp duty, it would
certainly invigorate the top end of the property market and we should
see transactions increase,’ he added.