A Game of Two Halves
Adrian Tod of Hayward Tod comments on the property market after a busy Spring.
What a game! The English have long been used to the highs and especially the lows of their national obsession.
All the early hype leads to such lofty expectations. It is only later that frustration and disappointment invariably sets in.
The media and pundits don’t really help. The public are led to think nothing can go amiss. But then one careless move and all is undone and we stare defeat in the face.
Yes, the property market is a funny old game; and boom and bust certainly make it one of two halves. It’s a bit like football. Witnessing our new coalition government possibly let the slowly improving property market slip through its fingers was rather like seeing the England goalie spill the ball and watching it inexorably, and with agonisingly slow but inevitable progress, roll through the gaping and unguarded stanchions. Excruciating.
The pre-election hype was all there as usual – what would be done to build up the property market if the Tory team got through – and the Tory team did get through, but only on goal difference. Post election, an early score from the home team in stopping Home Information Packs put them on the road to victory. But then came the Budget. Putting a hefty increase on Capital Gains Tax could have been a tournament-losing goalmouth blunder.
Many people searching for property right now are, by necessity, cash buyers - others are finding it a challenge to secure a mortgage. Had a very high rate of CGT been imposed investors would have had to think much more carefully about second homes or buy-to-let properties. But the Government have largely avoided a damaging own goal through a more modest increase. Now they need to get lenders to release more money to first time buyers. This would be a spectacular counter attack and would get us all right back in the game.
Let us hope that this new manager, Cameron, can get his players to keep to the game plan and that our forwards, Osborne, Alexander, Cable and Shapps all play a blinder. Most of all let’s hope no-one breaks anything - like the bank! Or that they all play beneath their potential - like another team we could mention!