RICS: Housing market set for ‘slow-down’


The housing market is set for a “slow-down” after new stamp duty rates come in for landlords next month, says the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

Some 74 per cent of respondents to RICS’ latest survey expect there to be a rush on buy-to-let properties before 1 April, but just 17 per cent believe sales will increase after then.

Moreover, just 21 per cent of respondents expect house prices to increase over the coming quarter.

RICS chief economist Simon Rubinsohn says: “Over the past three months, we have witnessed a surge in buy-to-let activity. Since the Chancellor made his Autumn Statement announcement last November, investors have rushed to purchase homes before the Stamp Duty surcharge comes into effect. It is inevitable that over the coming months, April’s Stamp Duty changes will take a little of the heat out of the investor market.

“While there remain significant doubts as to whether the Government’s plans to encourage a more robust development and construction pipeline will be sufficient to address the housing crisis, long-term price indications for the housing market remain strong, with respondents still expecting them to rise by a further 25 per cent over the next five years.”