The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) have reported that numbers of house purchases have been unseasonably high in recent months.
This is thought to be caused by large numbers of
buy-to-let investors seeking to buy before the government’s proposed
changes to stamp duty in April.
RICS said that from its monthly
surveys of residential property agents, expectations of further price
increases were nearly at a two-year high, with 50% more surveyors seeing
price rises than falls.
Prices are rising due to a shortage of
supply compared to demand, especially in cities, with homes in
Cambridge, London and Bristol showing the highest annual growth in
In December 2015, 43% more RICS surveyors said
they expected further price increases in the next three months compared
to those that predicted falls.
Simon Rubinsohn, chief economist
for RICS, commented: "Potential buy-to-let investors are looking to pick
up properties before the increased stamp duty levy comes into force in
April. If that is the case, we can expect to see the housing market
heating up further over the next few months."
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