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Residential Sales – Quarterly Newsletter – Q4

As the area overview clearly shows (data compiled by Lonres research) we now have a clearer view of the impact that Brexit and the increased levels of Stamp Duty have had on the property market, as well as the current actual trends.

Flats priced at between £550,000 – £650,000 achieved an increase of 33% in price paid per square foot in 2016, mainly due to buyers such as Buy to Let and Second Home Owners rushing to purchase properties before the extra 3% rise in Stamp Duty came into effect on 1st April 2016.

Houses coming onto the market in the last four months have shown an overall reduction in asking price per square foot of 15.9%, which is mainly due to uncertainty surrounding Brexit coupled with the high levels of SDLT. This has in turn had a knock on effect with houses remaining on the market for much longer than seen in 2015, with over 50% of houses being on the market for more than 3 months.

Due to uncertainty surrounding Brexit, coupled with the high levels of SDLT, there has been a severe slowdown in the number of properties coming onto the market. This has resulted in eightened competition amongst local estate agents partly manifesting itself in a protracted period of over valuing properties to attract sellers. This in turn had led to a false sense of what properties in Barnes are actually worth and consequently to the impression that prices are now falling. Charles Banks chose to step back from competing in this particular arena, but we have recently agreed a number of sales in the village for properties that are sensibly priced.

On a more positive note interest rates are expected to remain at their current low levels for some time to come. This coupled with the fluctuation and weakness of the pound since the vote to leave the EU has resulted in a significant number of foreign buyers returning to the market.

Stamp duty is becoming increasingly used as a taxation tool by the government, whether that be in the reduction of tax reliefs for buy-to- let landlords, a stamp duty surcharge on investment properties and second homes, or the extremely high rates of stamp duty applied at the top of the market. This has impacted particularly on properties marketed at over £3,000,000.

Barnes remains a much sought after area proved by the fact many residents’ are always looking to either up-size or downsize. More and more central London buyers are moving to Barnes and with the added attractions of the Olympic Cinema, a host of independent local restaurants and boutiques, and some of the most highly rated private and state schools it remains one of London’s most desirable neighbourhoods.

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