Q and A

Ed Mead
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Q I’ve had my property on since March and, after the Budget, knocked £350,000 off the price to get under the £2m SDLT bracket. I’ve still not sold. What are my options, given I can’t afford to go lower?

A No comfort here but many sellers are in the same situation. It’s certainly created a very busy – and artificial – market, which some agents are now seeking to address with specifically targeted marketing.

The main problem seems to be buyer’s lack of trust in the consultation between HMRC and HMG as to who is and isn’t going to be affected.

Many foreigners, an important part of this market and already reeling from the exchange rate of almost €1.3 to the pound, are convinced they’re going to be clobbered with an annual levy or that the goalposts will be moved somehow. It’s the lack of consistency that worries them and, given that the outcome of the consultation isn’t due until the end of the year, this uncertainty is likely to continue.

Assuming you’re getting viewings but no offers, it seems like there’s little you can do. Viewings show the price is right – sadly you’ll need to wait until mid-September for a reality check and hope you won’t have to wait for the Revenue to finish a consultation that should have happened before the Budget.