Portfolio

London property developer offering free car to lure buyers

By Frank Prenesti

Date: Thursday 04 May 2017

London property developer offering free car to lure buyers

(ShareCast News) - A London real estate developer is offering a free car with the purchase of a house as an incentive to attract buyers.
Developer Jamm is also stumping up stamp duty at the basic rate and throwing in an iPad for anyone putting down a deposit on a flat or house at its project in North London's affluent Muswell Hill.

Buyers of a four bedroom house within the development will get a Renault Zoe electric car, which retails at between £14,000 - £26,000. The houses are on the market at £1.99m.

Jamm director Tim Jackson insisted the gifts were "not a sign of desperation" as London's property market showed signs of cooling.

"There is a lot of nervousness out there with the election and Brexit, and buyers are looking for excuses not to buy. We're giving them reasons to buy," he told the Guardian.

However, UK house prices have fallen for the second month in a row, with annual growth slowing to a near four-year low, according to an index produced by building society Nationwide and published last week.

House prices fell 0.4% in April compared to March. In April house prices were 2.6% higher than in April last year, down from the 3.5% annual growth seen a month ago.

The annual rate of growth was the weakest since June 2013, said Nationwide chief economist Robert Gardner, who added that the slowdown may be part of a broader trend, mirroring the fall in retail sales growth in recent months.

"In some respects, the softening in house price growth is surprising because the unemployment rate is near to a 40-year low, confidence is still relatively high and mortgage rates have fallen to new all-time lows in recent months.

"While monthly figures can be volatile, the recent softening in price growth may be a further indication that households are starting to react to the emerging squeeze on real incomes or to affordability pressures in key parts of the country," he said.

Economist Howard Archer from IHS Markit said April's second successive drop in house prices from Nationwide provided "compelling evidence the housing market is being increasingly affected by the increasing squeeze on consumers and their concerns over the outlook".

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