Quickly buying and selling houses for profit is on the rise once again, say figures
Speculative ‘flipping’ of property investments currently stands at the highest level for ten years, according to new data.
According to estate agency Countrywide, analysing data from the Land Registry, in excess of £5.5bn homes in the UK were bought and sold more than once in the 12 months to April 2017 – a total of 30,822 homes and apartments across the country.
While significantly lower than the £9.6bn registered in 2007, the figure is the highest for 10 years.
The agent also found that the activity of ‘flippers’ reiterated the existence of a new North-South divide, with property speculators focusing their efforts in the UK’s regions throughout 2016/17.
Of the top 10 locations in the UK for short term property sales, just two were located in London – a stark reversal from 2016, when London accounted for eight out of the top 10 places for speculating.
In the South, only the London boroughs of Newham and Waltham Forest, and the soon-to-be Crossrail-connected Reading featured within the top 10.
Burnley in Lancashire was revealed as the top location for ‘flippers’, with 8.3% of houses in the town facing sale more than once in a 12-month cycle.
Highlighting last year’s Stamp Duty surcharge introduction as a key driver behind buyers’ flight to the regions, Johnny Morris, research director at Countrywide, said: ‘In the long term, [the surcharge] is going to drag on people flipping and renovating, as it adds that extra cash barrier.’
With London prices – and their higher tax bills – becoming prohibitively expensive for those looking to turn properties for profit, Mr Morris indicated that properties in the UK’s regions were ‘relatively affordable, particularly when you take into account the cost of debt and how low interest rates are’.
Last week, property listings website Rightmove revealed that the Midlands drove annual house price growth in the UK throughout July, as the regions continued to outperform the capital.