Sales Volumes Pick Up Ahead of Stamp Duty Change

Prime country house prices have been rising for 13 consecutive quarters.

Additional findings:

  • Prime country house prices rose by 0.3% in Q1 2016
  • Annual growth has eased to 2.4%, down from a high of 5.2% in 2014
  • Sub-£1 million homes have outperformed, rising by over 4% annually
  • Sales volumes in the first three months of 2016 were up by nearly a quarter year-on-year
  • Knight Frank forecasts price growth of 3.0% across the prime country market in 2016

Rupert Sweeting, Head of Knight Frank Country, comments:

“Generally sales volumes have risen nationwide but in particular there has been a significant rise in activity in the South West especially with coastal properties as buyers rush to avoid the additional 3% tax on second homes. In other parts of the country we have seen vendors exchange and complete simultaneously prior to the end of March but grant a licence or tenancy to the vendor to enable them to move out/find another home. A 3% saving on a £2.5m house, for example-£75,000-has not been lost on purchasers! Clearly this has also produced a rise in mortgages being granted by Knight Frank Finance.”

“Looking forward, purchasers may find an excuse to put plans to buy on hold whilst the referendum is debated but this will only have the effect of making  a later market with activity expected to increase significantly once the result in late June is known. Added to which the additional stamp duty charges will have been factored in. However, the traditional selling time of May and June will still be the best time to launch a house to the market to take advantage of the leaves on the trees, the gardens looking at their best and buyers wanting to get on and into their new houses for  the summer or beginning of the new school year”