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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Stamp duty surge may keep prices rising until summer - agency

Estate agency Connells says the buoyant start to 2016 created by investors trying to beat the April stamp duty deadline may continue into the early summer - it says typical prices are likely to rise another two per cent in the second quarter of this year.

Like many agencies, Connells - which yesterday issued a market report - saw a strong start to 2015 on the sales side: instructions were up 1.0 per cent on last year and the number of buyers entering the market up 31 per cent on Q1 2015, while the number of sales agreed compared to last year grew by 7.0 per cent.  

The average house price rose 1.0 per cent in the first three months of the year and the firm predicts another 2.0 per cent by the end of June.

The new homes sales market is also strong - up 4.0 per cent in the first quarter compared to the same period in 2015 and the new homes pipeline at the end of Q1 is ahead 21 per cent of the same point in 2015.

Connells - which includes sub-brands such as Allen & Harris, Barnard Marcus, William H Brown, Peter Alan and Gascoigne Halman - has enjoyed strong lettings performance too.

The number of new lets on the market rose 21 per cent between Q4 2015 and Q1 2016, and grew by 20 per cent on an annual basis; there are now 6.5 registered applicants for each new instruction, it says.

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