The new year period is widely regarded as a busy time in the property market, but we're often told, not least by the stats, that spring is when things really get going.
The 'spring bounce' is a yearly occurrence – the second season of the year is known as the time when people are most likely to kick-start their home move.
The weather begins to get better, the summer is on the horizon – there is a multitude of things which combine to make spring the ideal time for many to move home.
However, this year we think the spring market could be even more bouncy with traditional home movers. Here's why…
Late last year, in the Autumn Statement, George Osborne announced that from April, purchasers of buy-to-let and second homes will have to pay an additional 3% in stamp duty land tax.
It's been widely reported that, keen to avoid these additional charges, investors have been rushing to buy property before the April deadline.
Unsurprisingly, then, the new year property market was boosted by buy-to-let investors expanding their portfolios.
According to Simon Rubinsohn, Chief Economist at RICS, even back in December the property market was beginning to feel the effects of the additional tax changes, with demand ‘unusually buoyant’ and at a three-month high.
The proposed changes have clearly attracted more investors to the market in early 2016, with RICS reporting that the level of new buyer enquiries increased for the tenth month in a row in January; which is pleasing news for those currently selling.
The increased demand from buy-to-let investors means that some conventional buyers may have been pushed out of the market in January and February.
It could well be that after being outbid by investors or struggling with the high market competition, these buyers return in force during the spring – giving the market that extra bounce we mentioned earlier.
So, prospective sellers who've stalled putting their home on the market needn't fear. Although the impending tax changes look set to cool buying interest from investors, you won’t be short of demand from home buyers.
What's more, these incoming tax changes will mean that many first-time buyers will be in with a better chance of purchasing a property due to not having to fight it out with investors.
Rightmove happens to agree, and has predicted that 2016 is set to be the year of the first-time buyer. The property portal reports that there are a heap of new buying opportunities for first-timers, with a 10% year-on-year increase in the number of two or fewer bedroom properties coming to market.
Whether your property is already for sale, or you’re about to place it on the market, we believe the next few months will be incredibly promising as buyer demand remains high.