Andy Sommerville, director of Search Acumen, comments on the RICS residential market survey for November:
“Prices slowing down in London offers a breather for homebuyers, but it’s worrying to see the problem of unaffordability is spreading to the capital’s commuter belt, including the South East and East Anglia, and even beyond.
“We can also expect to see a surge in prices in the run up to April, when stamp duty reforms for buy-to-let investors will come into force, with the hope this doesn’t put a dampener on activity in the second quarter of next year once the reforms have been introduced.
“With the traditional Christmas lull setting in, we shouldn’t be too concerned about the current seasonal lack of stock, however. 2016 promises plenty of new homes coming on to the market, with housebuilders boosted by the government’s Help to Buy initiatives.
“It’s also positive to see the government remains committed to the housing agenda, with the promise of Starter Homes and now a new consultation on green belt planning reform. Further planning reform could see a real boost for the supply of new homes, but the government needs to move quickly so that the industry can get on with building them.
“Could the government finally bring a more sensible approach to housebuilding on the edge our towns and cities? Watch this space!”