Commentary by Ruban Selvanayagam
As we move towards the summer months, the market has been able to take a temporary breath after the Brexit extension. The chances of kicking the proverbial can further down the road are now more limited. It’s arguable that it’s only once we officially leave the Union that the true impacts on property will be truly felt. In the meantime, although few are envisaging any major downturn, things are clearly showing signs of adjustment as sellers are forced to be more realistic.
As the third and penultimate phase of Section 24 of Finance (No. 2) Act 2015 came into force at the start of the new tax year, it’s never been more important for landlords to keep tabs on their monthly outgoings. Although a year old, I would encourage you to run through our Section 24 post where 23 professional accountants, mortgage brokers and financial advisors gave their indispensable insights.
In relation to our own work in the quick house sale space, it was interesting to see that the number of cash transactions across the UK has decreased by just over 19%. The largest drops were seen in Greater London where 1,157 cash transactions occurred in December 2018 – 29% lower than the previous 12 months. This was followed by the North West which saw a 23% drop (2,406 cash sales), the South East with a 22% drop (2,834 cash sales), the South West and the East of England which both saw 20% drops (2,557 and 1,919 cash sales respectively). The lowest decrease was seen in Scotland where 2,283 properties were bought for cash in December 2018 (compared to 2,429 in the previous year, a 6% decrease). Note that there is a reasonably long time delay for this data to appear in the public domain due to the lag for properties to get legally registered.