0.28% rise in East Sussex Property Transactions
In this post credit crunch world of sub terrain, low interest and annuity rates, the growth of the buy-to-let property market since 2009 has been phenomenal. So much so, there has been an evolution and a new motivation in the purchase of property in the UK from that of just buying the roof over one’s head to that as well of a buy-to-let investment where it is seen as a standalone financial asset to fund current and future investment (i.e. pensions). So recently, a few days before the release of latest Land Registry data of property transactions, quite a few market commentators were anticipating a huge increase in the number of properties sold in January as the new stamp duty deadline in April 2016 got ever closer.
Looking at the most recent set of data from the Land Registry, it seems there has been a drop in the number of completed property sales in the East Sussex County Council area. Year on year, completed property sales in January 2016 (the latest set of data released) rose very slightly by 0.28 % to 702 compared with 700 in January 2015. Nationally, the number of completed house sales fell by 5% in January 2016 compared with January 2015.
Some might say this counters the reports that there was a rush by landlords to buy ‘buy-to-let’ property ahead of the stamp duty deadline but where was the stampede that many expected?
Looking even closer to home, in the TN39 postcode in January 2016, 32 properties changed hands, whilst 46 properties did so in January 2015. It’s even more interesting when you look at the average price paid, in January 2016, it was £282,240 yet in January 2015, the average price paid was £236,192.
Does this mean that the buy-to-let dream is over for Bexhill landlords?
However, my Bexhill Property Blog readers, the devil is in the detail. The 3% stamp duty surcharge for buy-to-let landlords was announced in the Autumn Statement on the 25th November 2015. Anyone who has bought a property in the UK knows that from the point at which their offer is accepted to eventually receiving the keys with monies being transferred can be a long drawn out affair, taking on average 8 to 12 weeks. The Land Registry only get notified upon completion of a sale and we should also factor in that Solicitors seem to have the last two weeks of December off anyway. This means that if there was a rush for the purchase of buy-to-let properties in the last few days of November/early December in the Bexhill property market, we would only see the results of that in the February figures (released in June) and most likely to be in March’s (released in July).
So why all the doom and gloom? There is a simple answer to this. Bad news sells newspapers and gets the headlines. Let’s be honest, the headline to this article is designed to be eye catching and evoke conversation, both good and bad. However, when we look at both the bigger and smaller picture; nationally, property values dropped (month on month) by 0.5%; in the South East region they dropped 0.4%, whilst in East Sussex they rose by 0.3%. The year-on-year figures tell a completely different story to that.
It just goes to show you should look deeper into something before making a judgement! For more thought provoking commentary on the Bexhill property market – please visit the Bexhill Property Blog at www.bexhillpropertyblog.com