Stamp duty receipts dropped by 8.5% in 2018 compared to the previous year. The take was still over £8billion but down £802million on the year before.
There was also a large drop seen in receipts from the 3% additional homes surcharge.
Some of the drop has been put down to a sluggish London housing market. Clearly with far higher house prices the capital also has far higher stamp duty receipts.
However much may be deliberate and by the governments own making. The extra relief for first time buyers coupled with a rise in people buying there first home last year has without doubt had an effect.
The National Association of Estate Agents have recorded increasing levels of buyers and sellers entering the market.
The supply of property for sale has risen by a fifth according to their latest figures with the number of buyers looking up around 7%.
We feel this demonstrates that the early year bounce in the housing market appears to be happening. Indeed our own figures have revealed a rise in sales of 20% across the group so far in January with two trading days to go. However, the housing market, in our opinion, is more balanced with more properties for sale. Keen and correct pricing is essential to attract buyers and offers.
HMRC has reported there were 1.19 million residential sale transactions in 2018. Slightly down on the 1.22 million recorded in 2017.
Although this is a small drop it is encouraging that house purchases have stayed quite stable for a few years now.
At Aldreds our year runs July to June. We have seen a 15% increase in sales over the last six months of 2018. This is in no small part a huge reflection on our dedicated staff who have really pulled out the stops through the autumn and winter to get their clients moved. However, it also shows that the housing market in East Norfolk and North East Suffolk continues to be strong.
Halifax released there most recent house price figures yesterday and it made interesting and in my opinion calming reading.
House prices were up 1.3% over the last year. A figure below the current overall inflation figure 2.3%.
The last quarter showed an overall fall of 0.4% but bizarrely the last month a rise of 2.2%.
In my opinion we are now overall in a healthy housing market where supply and demand are very even. In East Norfolk & North East Suffolk we are finding that well priced and marketed properties are selling well. However, if you tip the wrong (high) side on price a buyer can usually find another house offering better value.
Certainly a working week in to 2019 we have seem healthy sales levels across our offices. Also an interesting and diverse selection of new properties hitting our books.
All adds up to an exciting 2019!