92% of estate agents saw effect of Stamp Duty indecision on consumers

The vast majority of estate agents have said government floundering over Stamp Duty in August increased consumer concerns about the housing market.

The National Association of Estate Agents has polled its members and 92% have witnessed increased concern as a result of indecision about the tax while 98% believe that consumer confidence was further damaged as speculation rose.

Members reported a slight decrease in the number of houses
available, sales agreed and percentage of first-time buyers.

But two areas experienced an improvement last month – the average difference between the asking and sales price and the percentage of agreed sales fallen through.

Chris Brown, president of the NAEA, says: “With poll results like this it was clear that the property market in August would experience a slow down as clearly consumers were stalling on property related decisions due to the cloud of uncertainty and apprehension hanging over their heads.

“However, the government needs to do more to address the problems in the market if anything is to change. The NAEA continues to urge the Government to offer first timer buyers a stamp duty holiday.”

The number of sales dropped slightly in August to five sales fro six per agent in July.

There was also a decrease in the percentage of first-time buyers with an average of 8.3% sales compared to 10.7% in July.