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It’s fair to say the property market has revived considerably over the last 3 years, but perhaps for the first time in 10 years, it will see some jolts in 2016. It’s almost 7 years since the Bank of England slashed interest rates to a record low of 0.5% and whilst it seems every year economists have predicted rates would start rising again, so far so good. But will 2016 be any different? The low bank rate has meant low mortgage rates making purchasing properties more affordable. This along with the government’s ‘help-to-buy’ scheme has meant many first-time buyers have been in a position to purchase a home. This year, the impending changes in stamp duty will mean hard times for landlords, making investment properties harder to come by. This as well as an erosion of some of their tax privileges can be seen as a deterrent for those contemplating a ‘buy to let’ property.
That said, the issue of whether house prices will go up or down still remains uncertain. According to the Office for National Statistics, valuations in England rose by 8.6% in 2015. This is a stark contrast to Scotland and Northern Ireland where the increase was just 0.8% and for Wales, valuations fell by 0.3%. The Guardian noted that London house prices increased by almost £500 per day in January and overall, the average price of a UK during January lifted to £291,505; a £40,000 increase to what was recorded two years earlier in January 2014. Whilst house prices are increasing and are perhaps unaffordable to many, Rightmove Director Miles Shipside said an average of 30,000 properties had come to the market each week over the past month which is a 3% increase on the same period in 2015.
All of this considered, recruitment is certainly not slowing down and the pace has definitely picked up. With landlords rushing to complete property purchases before the stamp duty changes come into effect in April, solicitors are working solidly to make sure deadlines are completed in time. Many firms require large numbers of staff at present and we are extremely busy. With the volumes required we’re finding firms need to be forward thinking and are offering the ability to work from home to secure solicitors and fee earners with the requisite experience. With support from the wider business, full infrastructure and administrative support is offered enabling conveyancers to do what they do best whilst allowing more flexibility and the avoidance of a rush hour commute.
For more information on these types of opportunities we have available contact me, Catherine Henry, on 0161 819 7473.