2015 and what may lie ahead in 2016

2015 was a very busy year for Hayman-Joyce and it saw the launch of our brand new fully redesigned and responsive website – haymanjoyce.co.uk. Please take a minute to browse the site, it not only includes all our properties for sale and let, but useful guides, videos, property news and our impact on our local and global community. Please see page 20 for more on this.  

The new portal website OnTheMarket.com to which we list all our properties at least 24 hours in advance of rightmove has gone from strength to strength since it launched in January 2015. With over 40 million visits and 400 million page view in 2015, please take advantage of these exclusive listing and make OnTheMartket.com your preferred portal website for searching for property.

Welcome to 2016 and a new era in property. It promises to be an eventful-packed year. The way has already been prepared for a change in April when higher stamp duty rates are applied to properties bought for buy-to-let or second home purposes. Please see page 16 for more on this.

Buy-to-let purchases are near their pre-crisis levels and the Chancellor may well tighten up lending criteria to stave off any potential problems down the line – 2015 saw buy-to-let borrowing at £38 billion compared with £45.7 billion in 2007.

Mr Osborne will further affect landlords as from April as when they will also lose higher-rate tax relief on mortgage interest payments.

The stock of unsold properties in the UK is currently the lowest ever recorded. The law of supply and demand suggests this should have a positive effect on prices in many parts of the UK. Like global warming, the UK housing market is open to conflicting interpretation. Is it the lack of new homes which is causing the log jam or is it that people have just stopped moving for the time being and are staying put, perhaps busy building extensions to provide more space instead of buying somewhere larger? For now it is hard to know the true position.

It is also difficult to work out what any long-anticipated interest rate increases will do to the property market should they be introduced, or what might happen if the UK heads for the Brexit (British Exit) following the European referendum.

Even if there is a vote to remain in the European Union the uncertainty may spook the property market for a few months – if the last general election and the Scottish referendum are anything to go by.

Heads will also be turned by the Olympics in Brazil in the summer, and all the while political and economic upheaval in the rest of Europe and further afield will create further uncertainty.

So 2016 will certainly not be without its challenges in the property market. But we are used to handling challenges for our clients. Our advice, as always, is purchase carefully within your means – and this includes your means if mortgage interest rates rise. This year will not be a perfect one for property speculation without the greatest prudence and care. But it will be a good year for settling into a home that provides safety, warmth and shelter for you and your family in these uncertain times. Whatever is going on in the world any year is a good year to do this.