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Expert reports strong start to 2016 for residential property market

The head of the Residential Property team at Napthens solicitors has reported a strong start to 2016, with enquiries up on the same time last year.

Sarah Barnes, partner at Napthens, reports that in January her department saw an increase in instructions relating to property acquisitions and sales compared to 2015.

The award-winning property team advises its clients on services including buying and selling a house, property investment, and landlord and tenant issues.

Sarah said: “We have certainly had a strong start to the year, with a marked increase in the number of new instructions from clients looking to buy or sell a home.

“The New Year is often a busy period for property sales, as many people are looking to make a fresh start, or have renewed determination after the Christmas break.

“This year has started out very strongly for the department which is a good sign that the regional property market is in a good place as we begin a new year.

“However, it’s important to be aware of what the next 12 months is likely to bring – we know that it is likely that stamp duty rates will be increased from April 2016 for people buying a second residential property. This has been viewed as an attack on buy-to-let landlords, which has caused some controversy.

“We’re also expecting to see interest rates go up, which would have the knock-on effect on increasing mortgage rates, although probably not by much.

“So while there is plenty to be positive about, we need to remain aware that things are likely to change soon.”

The Residential Property team was named the LFS Regional Conveyancing Firm of the Year Award 2014.