The upper quartile of the market where transactions are often more discretionary, held back slightly in the first two months of 2017 as the cost of trading up can be now a far bigger jump to make than the cheaper price bracket sectors, especially after the changes in stamp duty last year. However with the normal spring market bringing more houses in this sector onto the market, we expect a strong second quarter of interest and sales, now we are set fair further into the year.
In the first quarter of last year we saw prices driven up artificially due to the changes in buy-to-let costs and ownership increasing after the March deadline, and therefore like for like sales numbers this year are very likely to be lower.
However, new instructions in general this year from both our local offices have been around 20% higher than in 2016, a sign that the local market remains buoyant and active, with many people moving for ‘ normal personal growth & family expansion’ reasons, and in addition stimulated by the increase in new homes available for the first time in our areas of Hedge End, Boorley Green, Fair Oak, Bishops Waltham and Swanmore, with more to be delivered over the next 12-18 months.
Sales continue to be strong across all price brackets, with more choice than in the past 3 years, however achievable prices need to be cautious and competitive in order to attract a quality buyer.
The recent news of a June election may cause a minor ripple, but we are anticipating that as the timeframe is so short between announcement and voting day, unless we see a real shift in the public awareness and perception of an unexpected result, the market will continue through unaffected.