“Housing supply has risen – a drop in the ocean, but a much-needed one given the strain this early-2016 rise in house prices will place on homebuyers looking to move in the first quarter, in the middle of the buy to let fever.
“The housing problem is a national issue, but with London’s population reaching a peak all-time high of 8.6m, the concentration of new housing developments in the city is welcome and will provide some respite to city dwellers.
“As expected, buy to let reforms have the market in thrall, and surveyors, estate agents and conveyancers are going to be kept very busy in the first quarter; however, this spike is merely a redistribution of annual volumes as BTL landlords look to complete their transactions before the April deadline.
“The market is going to stabilise, or even slow down slightly, once these transactions that would have otherwise happened later in the year, are complete.
“The lack of landlord instructions in spite of a growing need for rental properties, however, is a foreboding sign of rent becoming even more unaffordable for younger people, and this problem may get worse if landlords decide to simply pass on the extra stamp duty costs to their tenants in the year ahead.
“The only solution to ever-rising rents is to increase the number of rental properties in the market.”