Are things as bad as figures suggest?

Malcolm Davidson

September 16, 2019

Malcolm Davidson (pictured) is director at UK Moneyman

The latest predictions for house sales produced by RICS made for yet more depressing headlines.

According to their report, the number of house sales in the next three months could be down significantly on previous quarters.

They add that “positivity has leaked out of the market”.

Well, publishing figures like these certainly don’t exactly pour positivity back into it!

So are things really as bad out there as this report suggests?

Any of you like me that have been, shall we say, “around the block” will agree that our brainless politicians should never make any pronouncements about future changes to stamp duty unless they are going to happen within, say, 24 hours?!

It’s not election time quite yet you know and the electorate simply don’t need pledges and promises that may never come to fruition.

Our new Prime Minister floated the idea of switching the onus for stamp duty from buyers to sellers in the summer and this was not ruled out (at least not immediately) by the new Chancellor Sajid “i’m the low tax guy” Javid.

Do these guys think homebuyers do not read the papers?

If you were a potential homebuyer facing a large tax liability it’s completely natural to do a typically British “let’s just wait and see”.

It’s not just Brexit that buyers are nervously waiting on now, they think they might save a few grand on stamp duty if they hold fire.

I’m sure there is a lot of pent-up demand in the marketplace and when the current political turmoil eventually resolves itself (it will one day I promise!) then normal service will be resumed – who knows, dare we say it could even be better than normal?

Or is that too positive?


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