Here is our latest guest blog from Daniel Merritt, director of Winkworth Winchester – the man in the know!
As 2014 draws to a close it is with astonishment that we look back, assess the year and appreciate what a roller coaster it has been. The first two quarters were some of the best the Winchester housing market has ever seen, with some buyers offering 10% over a guide price before they had even viewed a house. The second quarter saw the mortgage market review and its guillotine effect on some buyers ability to purchase. Other buyers continued to offer on houses irrationally in the hope of executing the Agreement In Principle they had previously secured before it expired. House prices therefore plateaued during the third quarter – however even though there were fewer buyers we were still extremely busy agreeing sales at strong prices. The country’s focus was then on the Scottish independence referendum in September but the market continued to be buoyant until the November half term where it become much quieter and took slightly longer to recover than expected.
We will see the year out with speculation on the impact of the new stamp duty thresholds. Our initial experience of this change is extremely positive with an increase in buyers registering and an increase in vendors preparing to place their houses on the market in 2015. We believe the legislation will have a very positive impact in the main, removing the false price limiters at the old stamp duty break-points and creating a more fluid market overall.