Stephen Tetlow, Manager at the Hartley Whitney Estate Agents BranchFollowing yet another successful year selling many homes both here in Hartley Wintney and the surrounding villages, my thoughts quite naturally are now turning to the housing market during the coming year.

Without doubt, the changes to ‘stamp duty’ recently announced by the chancellor haven’t yet had the opportunity of being fully appreciated and in my opinion, the financial benefits will only be really measured when the normal level of housing transactions return, which is invariably in the Spring.

That said, the government have been keen to promote the fact that 98% of those people that pay stamp duty will be paying either the same or less on all transactions up to £937,500, which in our experience will cover the majority of homes changing hands in the local area.  These very real savings will undoubtedly increase the numbers of those who can now afford to move home.

But for those who are contemplating either buying or selling at a higher level, I suspect that the implications of a higher level of duty will be reflected in the price negotiations.  I do not personally expect either a dramatic or significant reduction in demand.

As is often the case at this time of the year, there are those whose job it is to predict what is likely to happen to house prices over the coming 12 months and for many, their predictions were proved to be relatively accurate, given that it wasn’t difficult to suggest that they would increase on the whole.

Looking forward to 2015, it is my opinion that if the cost of moving home has become more affordable for the majority, then the next year could be a great opportunity for more people to become home owners and those who already own can consider another step up the market.

If I can be of assistance please call 01252 844015, email me on stevet@mackenziesmith.co.uk or pop into our office in the village.