What the residential property market needs now, is less Imodium and more a blast of stewed prunes

Anyone who doesn’t reside under a stone and can barely colour in newspaper pictures, must have heard mutterings about the imminent Budget regarding resurrecting the Mansion Tax corpse. As if this wasn’t alarming enough, it may be topped up with a possible raid on what’s left of private pensions.

I was a little confused about the former Chancellor Sajid Javid’s mindset. We were all confident that he would ‘break the economic mould’, rather than end up being covered in it. For instance, where is the clarity on the 3% surcharge which could be slapped on international buyers of UK residential property? Does this mean that at the higher end SDLT could be an eye watering 18%?

The new Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, needs to make this clear in his first Budget, which I hope will still be in early March. Continue reading

Is There A Housing Bubble In London Or An Outright Recession At The Higher End Of The Market?

What on earth is everyone going on about?  True, the market is extremely buoyant between £200,000 and £600,000 where there is little stock and where you can sell a property to whomever you want within a matter of hours. However, at the middle to upper end of the market, there is a recession going on which probably started a year ago and where values are dropping by 10-15%.

There are very few buyers, particularly above £10million, either locally or from abroad.  The Non-Dom fiscal changes, the draconian Stamp Duty rates and the low oil price have all seen to that. Continue reading