Eddie Goldsmith, Chairman of the Conveyancing Association's predictions for 2016

Private tenants are set to bear the brunt of the Government’s move to encourage homebuying, according to Eddie Goldsmith, Chairman of the Conveyancing Association (CA).

Mr Goldsmith also isn’t holding his breath for the market to fill the gap left behind with the failure of Veyo.

Making his predictions for the New Year, Eddie Goldsmith said: “2016 will be very interesting for the property industry. Over the last couple of years, we have seen the introduction of a number of extremely significant changes that have pulled the market in almost every direction possible.

“2015 was always going to bring uncertainty, with the General Election and major sporting events slowing down the market at key times. Going forwards will undoubtedly be about ensuring a healthy level of activity and growth being maintained. There are, however, a number of obstacles to this which spring to mind – many of them discussed in detail at the Conveyancing Association’s Conveyancing inaugural conference in December.

“These obstacles include amongst them the high – and as yet unmet – demand for housing, on the one hand, counterbalanced by the severe shortage of construction workforce. Another is the 3% rise in stamp duty on buy-to-let properties, announced recently by the Chancellor.

“This will mean it is likely to become increasingly expensive to rent, whilst landlords are less likely to offer as complete a service as before. What will it do to the buy-to-let market? No one really knows the answer.”

Mr Goldsmith also sees changes in the regulatory landscape coming in 2016.

He continued: “For conveyancers, 2016 brings a world without Veyo which may or may not have been a game changer in the battle of communication in the conveyancing chain. We will never know, although other propositions are already looking to fill that vacuum.

“Will we all be transacting within a trusted e-conveyancing community by the end of 2016? I don’t think so but I am prepared to be proved wrong.

“Regulation may also be set for a makeover depending on the appetite of the Government and the regulators – if Michael Gove expends his usual energy in getting on with it. I wouldn’t be surprised to be competing with Tescos although my hot cross buns do not make the mark as a serious competitor for them.

“All in all another exciting year ahead – you can be optimistic about the challenges as I am or be pessimistic a la Enver Hoxha ‘this year is going to be tougher than last…but it will be easier than next’.”

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