Stamp Duty and the Worthing Market
The long awaited, much dreaded alteration to stamp duty finally came into force on [no irony intended] April Fool's Day, the 1st April. Much has been made of the effect it would have on the market generally and here are the first impressions just a couple of weeks later on what's happened in Worthing.
There's no doubt that in the final few weeks before it was due to come into force we saw a big spike in enquiries from investors keen to purchase before they would have to pay the additional 3% tax. This lead to some quite stressful sales where buyers were trying to push things through before the 31st of March deadline.
Quite rightly too as just a day later and they'd be paying thousands of pounds more for the same property.
This has led to a slightly artificial increase in prices of property suitable for buy to let i.e. anything up to around £170,000 or so. Now demand has now receded to its more normal level. Already it seems people realise that a 3% increase on an investment property that might be owned for years is not really the end of the world.
We expect the market will be slightly affected and that many of the whole year’s buyers ended up purchasing in the first quarter of 2016. But the market is still strong enough to absorb this without making much noticeable difference. Holiday home buyers will also be affected with the uplift in stamp and of course being a coastal town, Worthing has many of these.
However, we believe that purchasing holiday home is a clear lifestyle choice and one that people will do regardless of an extra few thousand pounds or so. We've certainly noticed no reduction in the number of applicants looking to purchase. In fact, the usual seasonal increase after Easter has been as high as any time in recent memory.
As ever, it may take the benefit of hindsight to look back and see what effect increase truly had. But as of now, Worthing property has seen no noticeable downturn.