Housing market picks up in new year

The housing market is picking up, according to the latest RICS survey.
The housing market is picking up, according to the latest RICS survey.

The North East housing market has seen a rise in demand following the Government’s recent announcement that stamp duty is set to increase for buy-to-let investors, the latest Residential Market survey by RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) has revealed.

The monthly survey showed that demand for homes in the North East rose in December, with 29 per cent of the region’s chartered surveyors reporting a rise in new buyer inquiries (up from 25 per cent in November) citing a rush to beat April’s stamp duty rise as the reason.

From April, buy-to-let investors will be required to pay three per cent more in stamp-duty charges than residential buyers purchasing the same home. The Chancellor announced these measures in the Autumn Statement in a bid to encourage first-time buyers.

Encouragingly, 33 per cent of the North East’s chartered surveyors reported a rise in new instructions (homes coming on to the market) last month, for the first time since September.

Chairman of the RICS North East Residential Professional Group, Neil Foster, said: “The start of 2016 has proved very busy and we expect this to continue as landlords and investors rush to beat the stamp duty rise in April.”