The latest from Flick & Son with properties for sale and to let in Aldeburgh, Dunwich, Walberswick, Wissett, Leiston, Snape,  Reydon and Saxmundham. For our full selection across Suffolk’s Heritage Coastline, please visit our website.
After Brexit - or should that be After Osborne? 

Since the Brexit vote on the 23rd June, pundits have been having a field day calling the state of the housing market with headlines along the lines of “sales crash by 44% across U.K”; "sharp drop in confidence follows Brexit vote”; “property values booming in areas which voted for out, but falling where the vote was to stay”. Brexit is certainly shining a spotlight on market sentiment, but has it actually impacted on the residential property market?
Let’s consider the facts as we know them to be on and around Suffolk’s Heritage Coast.  Whether or not Brexit is influencing sale and purchase decisions needs to be considered in the context of adjustments to the rates charged for Stamp Duty introduced by the then Chancellor back in 2014 and again in Spring 2016. 

In 2014 new bandings were introduced, reducing the amount of Stamp Duty paid on the majority of home purchases but substantially increasing the tax paid on purchases made above £925,000.  As of April 1st 2016 the reduction previously given for the majority of home purchases was clawed back from those purchasing an additional home, whether as a holiday house or a buy-to-let, when the Chancellor added a 3% surcharge for the purchase of an additional home, causing frenetic activity in March as purchasers clamoured to complete their purchases in time to avoid the hike in tax.

The graph below, taken from recorded transactions on Land Registry, vividly shows the effect the 3% surcharge had on the total number of transactions across IP15 to IP19 postcodes from March through to May. Transactions peaked in March to a level never seen before for the time of year and not surprisingly fell sharply back immediately afterwards with the number of contracts exchanged for the sale of residential property in April falling to a mere 38, some 72% lower than in March.
Brexit became the main news story from May onwards, since when it has gradually become noticeable that second-home hotspots such as Aldeburgh and Southwold have been faring less well than the towns and villages not so influenced by the investment/holiday home market.  For instance, the volume of agreed sales through our Aldeburgh office in May and July fell by some 20% year on year, whereas our Saxmundham office agreed 30% more sales in the same period.  

Might this be down to voters in the Saxmundham area supporting Brexit with those in the Aldeburgh area voting to Remain, rather than to earlier changes to Stamp Duty rates?  Possibly but we think not!
Analysis of our substantial share of the property market in the areas covered by our offices where we arranged sales on 38% more residences than our closest competitor during May, June and July, shows the reality is that the market has been much more responsive to changes in Stamp Duty charges than to the Brexit vote.
So with revenue generated from Stamp Duty on housing transactions declining sharply since 2014, a decline accentuated by the 3% additional home surcharge introduced on 1st April 2016, could we soon see Philip Hammond unknitting George Osborne’s stamp duty adjustments to stimulate the market and to recover lost income for the Treasury?  We think possibly so!

Peter Watson FRICS
Director, Flick & Son

Featured properties this month

Aldeburgh  |  From £850,000
Brick Kiln is a collection of nine luxurious new eco-sensitive detached homes overlooking meadowland with a sweeping panorama down to the River Alde estuary towards Aldeburgh and Orfordness - arguably one of the best views in Suffolk.

Large, light rooms with fully glazed bi-folding doors in the living rooms offer an elevated vista of the river and meadows from inside, opening out to exceptional views from the glass-screened 300 sq ft sun decks outside orientated to gain a perfect view of the estuarine landscape beyond.
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Dunwich  |  £1,250,000

A fine Grade II Listed Victorian house with attached annexe cottage and gardens, upland and marsh grazing and farm buildings extending in all to some 56.5 acres (22.9ha).
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Aldeburgh  |  £400,000

A well appointed end of terrace cottage, two bedrooms, open plan kitchen/living area, wet room, good sized courtyard garden and brick summerhouse. EPC Rating D. 
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Leiston  |  £320,000

A stunning contemporary four bedroom house with accommodation arranged over four floors with rooftop views of surrounding town.
EPC Rating B.
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Walberswick  |  £1,300,000

An elegant and imposing five/six bedroom family house situated in a secluded and peaceful location in this most sought after of coastal villages. EPC Rating D.
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Wissett  |  £675,000

A most attractive, large and mainly thatched five bedroom cottage style property with immaculate gardens, situated in a stunning rural position close to Halesworth. No onward chain. 
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Snape  £475,000

Deceptively spacious four bedroom detached family home within the popular village of Snape, home to the renowned Snape Maltings and the Aldeburgh Music Festival. EPC Rating E. 
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Property News

Criticism over Help to Buy ISA changes
The National Association of Estate Agents has criticised new information from the government about Help to Buy ISA's which they launched last year.  It has now emerged that a bonus payment of 25% will not be paid by the government until a sale is completed.

This means an average first time buyers deposit of £15,000 would not have a £3,000 bonus added to the £12,000 saved until after completion.

NAEA managing director Mark Hayward says this latest detail is "the perfect example of a painful lack of transparency and frankly nothing short of deception."

A government spokesperson suggested in response that the ISA was never designed as a deposit saving scheme and should be considered more for overall housing costs.

Featured properties this month


Reydon  |  £475,000

A particularly spacious four bedroom, three storey mews house with a south facing garden and integral garage set in an elegant square at the edge of this popular village. EPC Rating C.  
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Aldeburgh  |  £1,650 pcm

Exceptionally well located and spacious five bed/two reception house having been renovated and improved. Parking and gardens. GFCH. EPC Rating E. (Tenants Admin Fees Apply)
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Saxmundham  |  £525 pcm

Grade II Listed one bed second floor flat renovated to a high standard. Open plan living area, double bedroom and shower room. GFCH. (Tenants Admin Fees Apply)
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Aldeburgh  |  £300,000 

A four bedroom semi-detached chalet with ample off road parking, flexible accommodation and a spacious rear garden. Newly installed gas central heating. EPC Rating E.  
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Saxmundham |  £850 pcm

Three bedroom/three bathroom modern townhouse on popular new estate with gardens & garage close to town centre. EPC Rating B. No pets/smokers. (Tenants Admin Fees Apply)
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Leiston  |  £515 pcm

Ground floor apartment redecorated throughout. Open plan lounge/kitchen doors to rear courtyard. Two beds & shower room. Parking for one. EPC Rating D. (Tenants Admin Fees Apply)
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