New Government Good News for Property Market

Following the somewhat indecisive election result and extensive negotiations leading to our new coalition government, it seems that the property market can only benefit from the various political concessions that have been made.
Certainly the Conservatives are keen to kick-start the property market, with the permanent abolition of stamp duty up to £250k for first-time buyers, which looks set to say. Also helping first time buyers will be the gradual raising of the starting point for income tax liability to £10,000pa.
Charlie Comber of our Broadway office was delighted to hear that one of the Lib Dem concessions is to drop their plans for a 1% “Mansion Tax” on properties worth over £2 million, paid on the value of the property above that level. With a market fuelled as much from above as below this is certainly a relief, although there could be some long-term Capital Gains Tax issues to be addressed by buy-to-let investors.
However, as James Hayman-Joyce has already commented below, the most immediate and relevant issue affecting anyone considering selling, is the confirmed suspension of the Home Information Pack (HIPs) legislation with immediate effect. HIPs have not been popular, primarily because of the restrictions on the proactive marketing of a property at an early stage until a HIP has been completed. This has frustrated many a keen seller as well as ourselves as we often have buyers wishing to pounce on a property that is new to market. The requirement to have a HIP also deterred some speculative sellers – just when the market needed them!
The idea of getting various documents in place as soon as a property hits the market is fundamentally a good idea, and we would recommend vendors continue to do this voluntarily. The Energy Performance Certificate element remains a European Union regulation, so this is set to stay, although it only needs to have been commissioned at time of marketing - not actually obtained.
In all, it therefore looks like the market is set to move on apace, especially with a 24% improvement in mortgage lending and historically low interest rates probably around for some time yet.
With the election issue now resolved, a degree of optimism in the air, and increased activity levels in both our offices, this looks to be a healthy market for buyer and seller alike.