A new survey by RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) shows 26% of the region’s chartered surveyors reported a rise in new buyer enquiries in December (up from 9% in Nov), citing a rush to beat April’s stamp duty rise as a key factor.
As of April, buy-to-let investors will be required to pay 3% more in stamp duty charges than residential buyers looking to purchase the same home.
The chancellor announced these measures in the autumn statement last November, in a bid to encourage more first time buyers to the market.
Chris Jowett MRICS of Jowett Chartered Surveyors in Huddersfield, said: “Seasonally, the market tends to be quiet in December, but there seems to have been more activity than normal and there are early signs of increased interest from buy-to-let investors in the region who want to try and beat the 3% stamp duty surcharge.”
However, despite the rise in demand for homes in the region, chartered surveyors once again reported a lack of properties coming on to the market. Demand has continued to outpace supply in the region most notably for the past two years.
The report also showed that house prices in London, the South East and East Anglia look set to rise by a further 5% over the next year, compared to a UK average of 4.5%, despite offering the poorest value for money in the UK.
Some 62% of respondents said that homes in the South East were expensive given the relative benefits they offered, with 57% of contributors in the capital taking the same view.
In contrast, 92% of respondents from Yorkshire and Humber believe that homes in their areas offer fair value for money.