THE new year is predicted to herald the start of a prosperous period for the property market in Basingstoke, with both the sales and lettings sectors expected to reach new highs in 2015.

That is according to property specialist Leaders.

The firm based in Winchester Street, in Basingstoke’s Top of The Town believes many of the positive trends experienced in the property industry in 2014 will continue over the coming year, with landlords, tenants, buyers and sellers all set to benefit.

In particular the recent changes to the stamp duty system will have a positive impact on both the sales and letting markets, improving affordability for buyers and buy-to-let investors.

Leaders is anticipating a busy January and year ahead, which is set to be characterised by a booming sales scene and the continuation of a vibrant lettings market. Basingstoke branch manager Kim Smith, said: “Demand for all types of property was extremely high in 2014, particularly in the second half of the year, and this will continue in 2015.

“I expect the sales market to be strong this year, however, it may not be fully realised until the general election has taken place and it becomes clear whether any new legislation will be introduced which will have an impact on the industry.”

While some people take a wait and see approach until after the election, renting will be more popular than ever.

However, Leaders anticipates that the lettings market will remain strong regardless of the outcome of the election as renting allows people to pick a home that suits their current needs without having to make a long-term commitment.

It is ideal for those who need the flexibility to relocate for work opportunities or to move into particular school catchment areas.

“I expect the lettings market to be even more buoyant in 2015 as investors increasingly switch on to the opportunity that high tenant demand presents,” said Kim Smith.

“The stamp duty changes will have a positive impact on investors who can now consider a greater variety of properties.

“Where previously a property at £275,000 would have incurred a three per cent stamp duty rate of £8,250 – immediately reducing the return on investment in the first year – this will now be just £3,750.

“With more investment, there will be a better choice of properties, in particular, small family homes which would previously have incurred a high stamp duty cost for investors.

“The stamp duty changes are likely to improve the availability of this type of property which will in turn allow some tenants to climb the rental property ladder.

“More favourable economic conditions have led to a revival of the property market generally in recent months and many people are ready and able to move in 2015.

“Buyers, sellers, landlords and tenants all have plenty of reasons to be positive about the year ahead.”