“2016 was an unusual year for the housing market. A huge amount of transactions were brought forward into the first quarter as a result of the changes to Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) on second properties. Furthermore, an unexpected result in the EU referendum led many buyers to take a cautious approach.
“Despite this, transaction levels have remained stable in the second half of the year, which is a testament to the market’s strong fundamentals. Looking ahead to 2017, buyers’ confidence is likely to grow as the economic picture becomes more stable, which will lead to an increase in activity. Investors will also become used to the regulatory ‘new normal’ and begin to factor policy changes into their planning, which will drive greater volumes in the buy-to-let market than we are currently seeing.
“In the long-term, demand for both rented and owner-occupied accommodation will support prices and sales volumes. There will undoubtedly be challenges for the market over the next twelve months, with the triggering of Article 50 and changes to landlords’ tax relief looming on the horizon. However, the property market has shown it is more than strong enough to overcome these obstacles.”