WHAT a change from the summer.

The autumn market, especially in the first three weeks of November saw 12 new sales agreed and contracts have exchanged on a further 10 properties.

We are now keen to replace these sold properties to satisfy the buyers demand.

The sectors of the local property market which are showing especially strong demand are the cottages market, farmhouses and development opportunities including sites with planning permission, typically property under £2 million.

A case which illustrated this is a five bedroom barn conversion with land in the heart of the Cotswold with an asking price of £2,250,000.

This property attracted bidders from London, the Cotswolds and was eventually sold to an overseas buyer.

It appears that there was not much in last week's budget to directly affect our local markets, other than the scrapping of Stamp Duty for first time buyers up to £300,000 which will help market movement from the grass roots.

Focused buyers are still booking viewing appointments across the board and new buyers registering to move to the region in healthy numbers.

Grainne Gilmore, Head of Knight Frank UK Residential Research has published the following:-

Stamp duty

“This is a step-change for first-time buyers, recognizing the challenges that those trying to climb onto the property ladder face in saving for a deposit. Any relief from an additional expense is to be welcomed. Around 340,000 first time buyer mortgages were taken out to purchase property in 2016.

"The Chancellor estimates the move will cost £3.2 billion over the next five and a half years, but he has room for manoeuvre here, as stamp duty receipts from residential property were £2.2 billion higher in the year to Q3 2017 compared to the annual receipts in 2014.

"First-time buyers purchasing a £200,000 home will now save £1,500 in stamp duty, while those purchasing a £450,000 home will save £5,000.

"It may be nearly ten years since the financial crisis, but the new mortgage lending model brought in after the financial system is here to stay – meaning that those climbing onto the property ladder are having to source much larger deposits than they did pre-2007. Anything which cuts the financial pressure for potential purchasers trying to bridge the ‘deposit gap’ can only help.

"Policymakers may want to turn their attention to the rest of the market next, as there is evidence that movement up and down the housing ladder by ‘home-movers’ is also hampered by the cost of stamp duty.”

Source: HMRC

Council Tax

The Chancellor announced that local authorities would have the power to increase the empty homes premium from 50 per cent to 100 per cent of Council Tax in a move designed to raise £10 million by 2023.

Councils can currently charge the premium if homes have been empty for two years.

The fact is this that property in this region is still in high demand and if realistically priced, receives strong interest; country property prices are definitely at an all-time market high.