Festive season expected to drive buyer demand

Summer may have only just ended, but for many that means one thing; it’s time to start planning for Christmas. With a recent survey showing half of shoppers have already begun buying presents, local estate agency Spicer McColl is urging house hunters to look ahead to the festive season and move now to be settled by Christmas.

At the same time, many buyers will also want to take advantage of the remaining stamp duty holiday and Spicer McColls expecting to see a significant rise in people moving before the New Year.

Branch manager Gary Scargill said: “With the festive season approaching, many house hunters are now looking towards Christmas and stepping up their search in order to be settled in their new home in time for turkey on Christmas day.

“In addition, as the stamp duty holiday draws to a close, we are encouraging buyers to make the most of this golden opportunity for significant cash savings. With Christmas on its way, the money saved will no doubt come in handy for presents, decorations and festive food.”

As of 2010, buyers of properties under £175,000 who were previously exempt from stamp duty, will now have to pay 1% on properties over £125,000 – which will add an extra £1,600 on the price of an average first time property of £160,000.

Figures released recently from Spicer McColl, part of the UK’s largest independent estate agency group, already show a 32% increase in the number of people looking for properties, which is likely to be due to stabilising market conditions and the extended stamp duty holiday.

Paul Smith, Chief Executive of Spicer McColl added: “Many people looking to buy are hoping to do so by the end of the year in order to avoid the additional stamp duty costs.

“There are certainly ongoing positive signs in the housing industry, with recent statistics from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors showing rising house prices in the three months to September, however there continues to be a lack of supply.

“We would urge sellers to come forward and help meet the increased demand created by buyers hoping to move by Christmas and capitalise on the stamp duty holiday.”

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