Tuesday, 14 June 2016

£7,700 boost to Royal Tunbridge Wells First time buyers

There’s a whole legion of wannabe Royal Tunbridge Wells first-time buyers keen to get on the property ladder and they now have a 3% price advantage over the previously quicker responding army of Royal Tunbridge Wells landlords with cash at the ready. Since the start of April, buy to let landlords have had to pay an additional 3% stamp duty so whilst demand from some Royal Tunbridge Wells buy to let landlords has dropped away, in the interim, it offers Royal Tunbridge Wells first time buyers (FTB’s) a chance to fill the vacuum with less competition from cash rich landlords (over two thirds of BTL properties were purchased without a mortgage in the last 7 years) who could bid more and complete quicker.

Looking at the average value of an apartment in Royal Tunbridge Wells currently standing at £257,900, that means if our Royal Tunbridge Wells FTB went up against a Royal Tunbridge Wells landlord, the landlord would have to pay an additional £7,737 in stamp duty. Early antidotal evidence from fellow property professionals in the town is suggesting landlords are reducing their offers slightly on Royal Tunbridge Wells properties to reflect the extra stamp duty.  

Whilst on the face of it, it appears landlords are being punished by No.11 Downing Street, I actually believe this increase in stamp duty for landlords is a good thing for the Royal Tunbridge Wells property market as a whole.

Since 2011/12, the Royal Tunbridge Wells property market has performed very well indeed. Over the last 12 months, £569,827,952 has been spent buying 1,373 Royal Tunbridge Wells properties.  Figures from the Land Registry have just been released and month on month in our council area, property values are 0.8% higher, yet 10.2% higher year on year. These figures are nowhere near the heady days of 2003 (April to be exact), when Royal Tunbridge Wells property prices rose by 25.4% in 12 months.

So as property values in Royal Tunbridge Wells (and the UK as whole) start to stablise and come back to some kind of balance, I am beginning to see savvy landlords view the Royal Tunbridge Wells property market in a different light. Even with the Spring rush, gone are the days where you could make limitless money on anything that had a door, a few windows and roof. This stamp duty change has made more and more landlords, after reading the Royal Tunbridge Wells Property Market Blog take advice on what or not to buy and what to pay, meaning Royal Tunbridge Wells landlords are being more calculated with their Royal Tunbridge Wells BTL purchases. I am also seeing a variance between relatively brisk current price momentum and softer expectations in terms of property value growth in Royal Tunbridge Wells, this in part reflects amplified uncertainty about the short term economic outlook (eg Brexit, Issues in the Far East etc).

Now I know a lot of Royal Tunbridge Wells landlords brought forward their BTL purchases to beat the stamp duty deadline. However, it is probable that hunger from Royal Tunbridge Wells investors will return for the right Royal Tunbridge Wells property later in the year, especially if it’s at the right price and offers a decent yield. However, in the meantime, Royal Tunbridge Wells FTB’s could and should, in the short term, make hay whilst the sun shines plug the gap and grab a bargain!

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