14 Apr

Home sales in 30% spring upswing – ahead of stamp duty surcharge

Posted 14/04/2016 by: Reeds Rains Press Office

England & Wales House Price Index - March 2016

  • Strongest March since 2007 for home sales – a nine year record – with 80,000 properties sold during the month
  • House price growth accelerates, up 6.9% annually, with a typical home now worth £18,745 more than a year earlier
  • London market takes off again, with fastest growth of any region – as house prices rise 8.2% (£44,548) year-on-year
  • Bath & NE Somerset sees the largest March pick-up in property prices, climbing 5.3% (£18,603) month-on-month

Adrian Gill, director of Reeds Rains estate agents, comments: “This Spring, with a frantic flurry of activity, the housing market has come to life. As a result of the impending stamp duty hike, this has been the strongest March for home sales in nine years. The surge was widespread across England and Wales, with a 30% upswing in transactions since February. This goes beyond any normal seasonality, with second-home and buy-to-let investors rushing to beat a bigger tax bill.

“House prices have also reached a new record in March, with the value of the typical home rising 6.9% (£18,745) year-on-year. This is an acceleration from the previous month’s 6.5% annual growth and represents the largest year-on-year growth since February 2015. The green shoots are resplendent right across the country, with 73% of local authorities in England and Wales experiencing a monthly upswing in home values – the highest proportion of areas seeing positive property price rises since July 2014.

This will be welcome news for homeowners, who now have a fantastic opportunity in the current sellers’ market. The pervasive shortage of homes on the market is still driving up values, as buyers have to compete for each available property. If they are going to make it easier to get a foot on the property ladder, the Government will have to double-down on its help to first-time buyers, or let up on landlords.