Speculative Sellers Return, Hip Hip Hooray

Estate agents Countrywide and property portal Rightmove say they have seen a 35% increase in new properties for sale since the coalition governement announced HIPS were suspended, on 21 May.

The increase in properties coming to the market is being widely explained due to 3 factors:

  1. Suspension of the requirement for a home information pack before putting a property up for sale
  2. The anticipated rise in capital gains tax from 18% to potentially 40-50%
  3. Uncertainty of the election recently being resolved

The anecdotal rises in properties coming on to the market are disputed by some estate agents and RICS surveyors.

“an explosion of instructions is hype and misleading”

Certainly, the removal of HIPs has not removed the market speculation and installed stability with renewed fears of house prices ‘heading for double dip’. It is hard not to see the irony that the removal of the £300 HIP may have inturn helped speculators enter the market but inadvertently played a role in house prices falling. So whilst sellers may feel they have saved £300 from HIP costs, they may have lost substantially more in lower sale prices.

Whilst the main area that is currently agreed upon is that the increase in ‘sellers’ coming to the market has a large element of people speculating and testing the property market. This seems to be largely welcomed by industry commentators and professional bodies including the Royal Institute of Chatered Surveyors (RICS).

In a time of uncertainity do we need sellers in the market who are not truly serious?

Should we really be celebrating the return of speculative sellers to the market?

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