Stamp duty cuts had little impact
Despite the November Budget seeing the abolition of stamp duty for first time buyers, almost nine in ten members of the Rics reported no increase in first-time buyer inquiries in December. A chief economist at Rics, said: “The initial feedback from the market doesn’t suggest that the change in the stamp duty regime announced in the budget is going to have a material impact on activity.”
The Rics poll of property firms saw 66% say the policy is unlikely to significantly increase first time buyer sales over the coming months. While only 12% said the duty cut would help boost activity, this rose to 28% in London. Meanwhile, Rics said that Scotland, Northern Ireland and the North-east were the only areas to see an increase in sales transactions, which were either flat or fell across the rest of the UK.
It also revealed that December marked the 23 rdconsecutive month without a positive reading on the fresh supply of new homes coming to market, while average property stock levels on estate agents’ books are close to all-time lows.