Tim Russ’s Market Update

I look forward to March.  We all look forward to spring, warmer weather, are gardens and the countryside coming to life.  Easter is early this year, and we have already had a taste of a few warmer days – balanced by colder days, but I feel it is just around the corner.

Easter and the spring market is a time that many people get their homes ready to put up for sale..  We are busy with a lot of activity on the sales side, with general confidence in the market place.  I expect in the next month, we will see more homes for sale to give buyers a greater choice.

Investment buyers are rushing through purchases to complete before the 1st April to avoid a 3% hike in stamp duty.  That will give letting agents more properties to rent and give tenants a greater choice.

I had worried that the increase in stamp duty would affect the investment market.  However, if you have a surplus or inheritance to invest, where would you invest?

The stock market?

It has dropped 10.4% in the last year, dividends are noticeably falling.

Pension fund? 

The government appears to be keen to legislate to reduce the pension fund benefit, so that looks high risk.

The property market? 

The average annual house price is 8.6% .  The return on investment (gross) 4-5%.  So, property looks like a better investment, even if the entry cost to purchase are higher.  Given a view over the medium to longer term.  So property seems to look attractive.

The government has announced a date for the UK referendum on our membership to the EU.  This I suspect will dampen some degree of demand between now and the 23rd June, especially at the higher price ranges.  It will be interesting to see how everybody decides to move.  I have made a light hearted comment, which I have posted on the blog on our website.

On the mortgage side, current interest rates remain low with a number of popular 2 year fixed rate mortgages available.  We strongly recommend that you take professional advice for making a decision.

As we move towards spring and the days become longer, we expect to see a greater number of homes coming to the market for sale, and activity levels increase further.  Our area, South Oxfordshire and the Buckinghamshire Chilterns were highlighted after analysis as the best place to live in the UK.  I hope this will draw more people to view homes in our area, and choose to settle here.

We are ready to help with purchasers or tenants with their search.

Yours

Tim Russ