Have you ever seen the film Sliding Doors? Strangely for an action film fan, it’s one of those films that has stuck with me. The ‘what if’ question is one that plagues all of us at times, and just yesterday when speaking to a group of new starters, I recalled the time I was invited to play rugby for Ulster. But having just started my first ‘proper’ job – as a sales guy over in England – I decided to do the right thing; miss the game and prepare for the meeting.
While doing the right thing is commendable, there is always that niggling thought – ‘what if’. Well the answer to that is easy. I would probably have gone on to be capped for Ireland, travelled the world and then retired at 28 with a knee/shoulder/back injury. A good life, but a short lived one – that’s the life of the guy who took my place thirty odd years ago.
It was over a year ago that the Government made the decision to slow the investor market by introducing a levy for additional home buyers. Their intention was to increase property supply for first-time buyers. But as no one has a crystal ball, including the Government, all they could do was sit back and wait to see the results of their tax play.
Our research has shown that this particular market has now halved in terms of transactional volumes, affecting individuals (the retirees who wanted a holiday home or the parents looking to invest in a second property for their university aged children to live in) far more than career landlords. And whereas the hope was for more properties to become available for first-time buyers, in reality this tax play has resulted in more gifted deposits being made available to ‘second-steppers’ and ‘middle-movers’- those who are already on the property ladder and wanting to move.
So was the Government’s decision correct? In all honesty we’ll never really know, as there are too many variables to calculate. We can either sit and ponder the ‘what if’, or relish the opportunities this new landscape presents to us.
No, I’m not an internationally known rugby star with a glittering after-dinner speaking career; instead I am the CEO of the UK’s leading provider of mover conveyancing services. I am responsible for the livelihoods of over 700 employees and 50,000 home movers each year. The buck stops with me and I’m delighted about it.
So let’s not worry about the ‘what ifs’, the unknown or the ‘if only’s’. It’s time to seize the day, to lead by example and to the shape the future.