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It’s General Election Year

Should we sell now, or wait for the result? It’s a question being considered across country by home-owners thinking of moving, and the answer probably is that it depends on your situation.General elections have a habit of creating uncertainty, and that is made more acute this time around as it’s the first time for a generation that we have gone into an election year with a coalition in government. Looking back at past elections, there is normally a lull in the months leading up to the vote, and then a surge in sales in the months following. Business this year suggests that Election 2015 will follow the same path. 

So, what do buyers and sellers need to consider? The Mansion Tax – the Labour Party & Liberal Democrats are very keen on introducing measures to tax properties at the top of the market. We think this is primarily targeted at London & the South-East and is unlikely to have an effect on the core market.

Letting Fees – another Labour Party policy is to ban Letting Agency fees to tenants. We think Landlords could bizarrely benefit from this brazen attempt to win tenants votes. Since Letting Fees were banned in Scotland, it is widely reported that rents have risen at a much sharper rate than they have in the rest of the UK as landlords adjust rents to accommodate their increased fees. With pension money flooding in to Buy-to-Let after April, this could be a potential unintended bonus for investors.

First Time Buyers – the market still needs more first time buyers, and first time buyers need confidence that their mortgage isn’t going to soar or their property lose value. We think if any group of buyers are cautious pre-election it is first time buyers. Post-election there is normally a surge in confidence, and that, coupled with the Stamp Duty changes introduced in 2014, could well see a swathe of first time buyers house hunting in the summer.

So, following on from a solid 2014, 2015 could be a very interesting year. So far, we have found new sales listings to be a little slower out of the blocks than 2014, but on the other hand valuations are much higher as sellers decide whether to take the plunge. Across to county, sellers are still being held back by a lack of supply, particularly for areas in good school catchments.

In lettings, the market is starting to pick-up after two very slow months. Rents remain steady, and are mirroring house sales with well-presented property in sought after areas generally seeing rent increases. Tenant demand is quite sporadic with no particular pattern, but on the whole the market is where we would expect it to be for the time of year. 

For homeowners thinking of coming to market, we would recommend taking the election into account. If your house will appeal to a first time buyer, you may wish to hold fire for a few months. If you are trading up however, you may want to make a move now whilst the market is in a lull. The house you may want to move to, may have a lot more interest in it after May 7th.

Granger & Oaks sell, let & manage property across Nottinghamshire. The company is independent & in 2013 celebrated our 10 year anniversary. We are licensed by ARLA & the NAEA, and offer a high quality service that is competitively priced.