London Barometer

DIRECTOR, DOUGLAS & GORDON

The October market was far busier than this time last year. The publicity surrounding the market and Help to Buy has helped fuel a 20 per cent rise in viewings and it does feel a lot busier than it did in September.

The inexorable decline in stock levels continues with 22 per cent fewer available properties, yet the number of new applicants registering remains steady, implying that the recent pattern of small but steady price rises will be maintained. Asking prices appear to have overshot – sellers who want to move before Christmas are beginning to think they will have to reduce.

Discussions around overseas owners potentially having to pay CGT is unlikely to produce more sellers given the paucity of alternative investments available. In fact this could result in even fewer properties being sold and a “zombie market” emerging until after the next general election.