A year is a long time in the property market and can bring a huge amount of change, especially in very large and active markets like London. The twelve months from June 2014 saw a lot of changes in the sector, presenting both challenges and opportunities. Here is just a short list of significant events that occurred in that period.
The first big change came from the abolition of the Property Misdescriptions Act. This occurred towards the end of 2013 but the effect only started being felt in the middle of 2014. When the act was repealed, it meant that it became a criminal offence for sellers to omit information or make any false claims about a property when they tried to sell it. Any details that may affect the decision of the buyer had to be included, such as energy certificates and condition reports. Buyers would now have more protection as a result.
The next, and possibly the biggest change, was the revision of stamp duty. The old “slab” system was outdated and known to cause bottlenecks at several points on the property ladder. A new progressive tax system was introduced to help remove these and make the whole process far simpler. The result is that there is a lot more clarity and more room at the bottom end of the market before people need to start paying stamp duty.
The General Election brought a lot of upheaval to the market and caused a cool down of the prime sector, particularly due to the threat of a mansion tax if Labour were successful. The Conservative victory removed this possibility and restarted the market. A majority government also brings economic stability, a reassuring proposition for investors and buyers alike.
The last year has also seen a big increase in the number of people entering the buy to let market. Rental demand is high across the UK and more investors are looking to enter the market, particularly with the new pension freedom.
At the same time people are looking to buy it has also become more difficult to secure a mortgage with the new stricter rules. The introduction of Mortgage Market Reviews meant that lenders need to consider affordability and future risks before issuing any kind of loan. The end result is that people need to be more financially secure when applying for a mortgage, removing the risk of another crash like we saw in 2008.
With all of the changes there seems to be more confidence in the housing market, although there is still a shortage of new homes being built. Over the course of this Conservative Government it is hoped that the UK can have a much more secure property market. We can assist you in all your property venture by offering services such as property management and guaranteed rent in Redbridge and across the whole of the capital.