The UK housing market has seen a rise in demand following the government’s recent announcement that stamp duty is set to increase for buy-to-let investors, the latest survey by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has revealed.
From April, buy-to-let investors will be required to pay 3% more in stamp duty charges than residential buyers looking to purchase the same home. Since the chancellor announced these measures in the autumn statement last November 16% more chartered surveyors reported a rise in new buyer enquiries.
RICS chief economist, Simon Rubinsohn said: “The housing market has experienced an unusually buoyant December. Those in the industry have been speculating that this is the result of the chancellor’s announcement last November and we can expect to see the housing market heating up further over the next few months.”
The survey also revealed that house prices in London, the South East and East Anglia look set to rise by a further 5% per annum in each of the next five years, compared to a UK average of 4.5%, despite offering the poorest value for money in the UK. Some 62% of respondents said that homes in the South East were either expensive or very expensive given the relative benefits they offered. By contrast, 100% of Northern Irish respondents and 92% from the North of England believe that homes in their areas offer fair value for money.