Home sales in Merseyside are said to have increased markedly in the first quarter of 2016, in line with new nationwide figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
City Residential director Phil Hartley-Chambers (pictured above) believes the trend is partly the result of investors and purchasers of second homes scrambling to complete deals before the government’s Stamp Duty reforms came into effect on 1 April.
He says: “The first quarter in 2016 the North West like the rest of the UK, saw a significant increase in transactions due to the Stamp Duty changes effective from 1 April.
“We found that there were plenty of investors and purchasers of second homes that were willing to pay decent prices in order to agree sales swiftly so that they could get them through before the deadline.”
Phil’s comments follow the release of the latest ONS figures which suggest house price inflation across the UK rose to 9% in March, a year-on-year increase of 7.6%.
Alex Dixon, director at Sutton Kersh, describes the national figures as “encouraging” and reports similarly positive trends for Liverpool, despite noting that regional statistics are lower than the national average.
He says: “We believe the 9% growth across the UK reflects the rush to beat the second homes stamp duty deadline which was for 1 April.
“In the North West the housing market is relatively stable with prices still rising despite regional figures being lower than the national average. Prospects look relatively healthy given the interest and continued investment within the region and appear to be less volatile, however we are yet to see the wider impact on the UK economy.”
According to the figures from the ONS, the average house price for the UK reached £292,000 in March.