2016 - the year 'the market decides'

2016 - the year 'the market decides'

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John Phillips | Agency Convey

So, welcome to a new year. To my mind, 2016 begins (as all new years should) with a large dollop of positivity about what the next 12 months will bring and a fired-up commitment to make it the very best year for your own business.

However, and here’s the rub, market forces will go a long way to determining how the next 12 months will unfold. Sometimes, you simply have to roll with the punches and react to what is happening, cutting your cloth accordingly and any other clichés you might care to mention.

In the housing and mortgage market, 2016 in particular looks set to be a year when ‘the market decides’ and, because of this, there is perhaps unsurprisingly a degree of trepidation about what comes next. This is certainly true in the mortgage market where a series of planned changes will have an impact on the ability of your clients to secure mortgage finance. I realise that this is true of any other year, but there are potentially some sizeable obstacles to overcome.

Take for instance, from a regulatory point of view, the introduction of the European Mortgage Credit Directive (MCD) in March, which is going to change the playing field in a number of areas. Firstly, lenders and advisers have to plan and prepare to implement the Directive and this takes time, money, effort and resource. One would hope it won’t impact on the ability of lenders to issue loans but it may well do.

Plus, of course it will usher in full FCA regulation of second-charge mortgages for the first time, and this again will have an impact particularly, I suspect, in terms of remortgaging, raising finance on existing properties, etc and whether that should be via a straight remortgage or via a second charge, unsecured loan, or further advance. Brokers in particular, who may well never have offered secured charge mortgages before will need to make a decision about how they consider them – something they’ve not had to do in the past. Those in the second-charge market appear to be cock-a-hoop about these changes because they effectively put them on a level-playing field with firsts for the (if you’ll pardon the pun) first time.


March of course is going to be a big month for the market. Between Christmas and New Year the Government issued its consultation on those who may not be required to pay the extra 3% stamp duty charge for a purchase of an additional property, not a main residence. At present, without seeing the final rules, it does look like landlords who have less than 15 properties currently (either personally or in a limited company), or are going to purchase less than 15 properties in one go, will need to pay the extra costs post-1st April.

It’s perhaps why you might have seen a surge in buyer interest from landlords ever since the start of December as landlords seek to beat the stamp duty increase deadline. There are of course many reasons why the deadline will simply be a bridge too far for certain purchasers – notably the length of any given property chain, but also the fact that some conveyancers may not be able to complete the transaction in time, or those needing finance to purchase may hit the buffers in terms of the timescale required from their chosen lender.

It’s incredibly important therefore that agents work closely with their landlord clients on this, because we may be just a week or two away from a point where a pre-31st March completion is not possible. This may impact on the decision of the purchaser to go through with buying a property, which may well have a knock-on impact on other chains and other clients and could cause some serious issues if that potential buyer does decided not to pay the extra stamp duty and pulls out. Agents will undoubtedly have to work closely with the client, conveyancer, adviser, possibly lender, in order to get the arrangements as spot on as they can. It could be a very uncertain period for all concerned.

So, while we look at the year ahead with optimism, there are some early bumps in the road which you may currently be unaware of which could have a major effect on what you do this year. The first battle is being forewarned and forearmed, the next will be how you react to those challenges and hopefully from this you will be able to formulate a plan of action that means you end the year in the winners’ enclosure.

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Latest Comments

DmitriKara
DmitriKara 29 Jun 2016

I just read another article about eviction rising and this was exactly what was on my mind, Housing has become "cat and mouse"...

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DmitriKara
DmitriKara 29 Jun 2016

I am really not surprised. I've seen one too many impudent tenants and in my humble opinion renters have one too many privileges and options to abuse heir landlord in so many ways...

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DmitriKara
DmitriKara 29 Jun 2016

There is still so much uncertainty and I will surely step back and see what's happening before I could make any decisions on my end.

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ChristinaReedUK
ChristinaReedUK 20 Jun 2016

I don't understand why it's always a war between the two sides. Either, way the landlord is probably keeping a detailed inventory and will see the changes you've made. I just don't understand why there...

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NathanGreen
NathanGreen 16 Jun 2016

Seeing that the tenants are quite satisfied with their landlords and the properties is indeed great. I wonder, though, what is the situation in London alone? The tenants face sky-high rent levels in the...

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AndiMur
AndiMur 15 Jun 2016

TheGuardian published the same forecast. But on the other hand, professional brokers express different opinions. According totranio.com, an exit from the EU would not affect the demand/supply imbalance...

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Gary Holmes
Gary Holmes 14 Jun 2016

Having a professionally completed inventory at check-in and check-out is clearly (to me at least) of minor value. Tenants make un-authorised modifications and/or walk off with items that belong to the

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Violet Gibson
Violet Gibson 14 Jun 2016

Cautious people think buying off-plan is reckless, but over the past few years investors have literally made fortunes.Pre-release prices have obvious benefits for the developer, who gets instant finance...

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Kate Windleton
Kate Windleton 14 Jun 2016

An interesting research indeed. I guess that is in complete contrast with the United States where people often move from one coast to another. It will be interesting to hear the trends for people moving...

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NathanGreen
NathanGreen 14 Jun 2016

I think it all depends on the market conditions and how well your company is doing. You will agree that you can't demand more when you're killing yourself just to hang in there. Sometimes you need all

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ChristinaReedUK
ChristinaReedUK 13 Jun 2016

What does "detecting a bad vibe" mean actually. I've had certain vibes like these and yet have always found a reason , if there's any, why I don't like a certain property. The property maintenance might...

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keybanks estates
keybanks estates 08 Jun 2016

Great News for first time buyers, about time two!

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