Should Sellers Be Incentivised To Move? Poll Results.

27th August 2021

Should Sellers Be Incentivised To Move? Poll Results.

Thanks to all those that contributed to my recent Facebook poll on how to help increase and encourage the supply of local homes coming to the market to keep up with demand. 

Buyers have had their incentives by way of Stamp Duty Holidays but is it time to turn the tables?

Relentless house price inflation caused in part by a shortage of available housing for sale can’t be good for society and an increased supply should help settle prices.

Shortage of Homes Available For Sale.

The number of housing transactions is falling despite many home owners wanting to sell. Zoopla, the property portal, said Britain is in the midst of its “greatest stock shortage since 2015”. 

In fact, UK monthly property transactions fell dramatically in July 2021, with seasonally adjusted transactions for July standing at 73,740, a starggering 62.8% drop compared with the figure reported in June, according to the latest data from HMRC.

The trouble is, many would love to sell but they just can’t find the right property to move to.

At the time of writing, I have 3 clients with offers accepted on their homes but despite their best endeavours to find the right home to move to, they’re ‘stuck’.

Two wish to upsize as they’ve outgrown their current homes and stay locally in East Ham and Chingford.   Another is selling in Walthamstow and wishes to downsize to the Chelmsford area.

Most can agree that buyers don’t require carrots or incentives – their apatite is there in spades. It’s sellers and developers that need to be enticed to help balance supply and demand.

Poll Findings.

The most popular poll choice was for the implementation of a policy of no stamp duty for downsizers.  Understandable but of course useless unless the right property to move to can be found.   A worthy choice but perhaps this would only work in conjunction with other incentives.

Hefty increases on council tax on properties that are left empty was selected by many. 

This appears logical as according to the Government’s own statistics from Nov 2020, there are a staggering 268,000 empty homes in the UK.

Build more of the right type of home came up again and again.

Flats, particularly those without outside space are simply no longer attractive.  The community wants family homes with gardens and when was the last time a bungalow was build?  With the population growing and aging, the type of property built clearly needs to pivot.

It could also be mentioned that time limits on developers land banking development sites could be implemented.  ‘Use it or lose it’ within say a 5 year period.  This would surely get the builders and JCB’s on site pronto.

Less popular but worthy of a mention is those suggesting hefty tax penalties on BTL landlords with more than 1 property. 

There are clearly no easy, overnight solutions but I firmly believe the market is in need of increased supply is essential.  A gummed up housing market is stiffling peoples lives, preventing mobility and curtailing aspirations. 

Other than just building more, other options should be considered by the Government to get the wheels turning and keep a lid on soaring prices.

Thanks once again for everyone’s contribution.