As widely reported, the SDLT holiday comes to an end today and like many of our colleagues in the industry, we have been working tirelessly to ensure that sales have been able to successfully complete by today’s deadline.
However, it’s worth noting that whilst the saving is of course worthwhile, for the majority of those looking to acquire property in Belgravia, Chelsea and Kensington, we don’t believe the end of the tax break will deter them from forging ahead with their plans.
It goes without saying the absence of international buyers has been felt across the market, but London certainly has the feeling of a city returning to normal and we are now beginning to see a good number of new enquiries across all price points from domestic and international buyers looking to purchase.
Interestingly, many of our buyers have confirmed to us that they have been encouraged to proceed without delay, cognisant that without the overseas buyers in London, there has been rather less competition than normal up until recently. Of course in the prime central London market, less competition doesn’t necessarily translate to lower prices which are currently stable, but it does allow the opportunity to secure a home which might otherwise have not seen the light of day.
Time will tell how the second half of this year evolves but with the increased level of new enquiries, competition for the best properties may now begin to increase and we therefore envisage that there will be a steady flow of sales over the summer months. In addition, when overseas buyers do return in their droves, we believe we will also start to see a gradual uptick in price growth, suggesting that whilst the opportunities remain for the local market, it won’t remain the case for ever.