Changes to Stamp Duty for first time buyers are failing to incentivise new buyers across Yorkshire, according to the December 2017 residential market survey by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.
In December, activity in Yorkshire and Humber’s housing market continued to drop, with only six per cent more respondents in the region reporting a rise in new buyer enquires.
When contributors were asked whether they have seen an increase in first time buyer enquiries following changes to Stamp Duty in the Autumn Budget, an overwhelming majority of 86 per cent said they hadn’t.
Looking at transactions, only a net balance of 11 per cent more agents in Yorkshire and Humber saw an increase in agreed sales last month, and just four per cent expect numbers of sales transactions to increase over the coming three months.
As regards supply – the volume of new instructions continued to decline once more last month, extending a run of close to two years.
The ongoing lack of stock is impacting prices in some areas, with 16 per cent more respondents in Yorkshire and Humber reporting price rises (rather than falls) in December.
However, only six per cent more respondents expect prices to rise further over the coming three months.
In the region’s lettings market, tenant demand and new landlord instructions remained broadly flat during December. However, 22 per cent of respondents anticipate a rise in rents over the three months ahead.
Christopher Richard MRICS, of Jowett Chartered Surveyors in Huddersfield, said: “December seasonally is quieter than other months. But latent demand will come to fruition eventually when progress is made with Brexit.”
Simon Rubinsohn, RICS Chief Economist commented: “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. Indeed, the risk was always that a good portion of the benefit would be capitalised in the price, therefore limiting the benefit for the first-time buyer.
“Challenges over affordability may have grown across the UK but they are clearly having a bigger impact in some parts of the country than others. This is clearly evident in the sales expectations figures which still remain in positive territory in more than half of the areas surveyed in the report.”