DEXTERS welcomes the UK Chancellor’s changes to Stamp Duty as the announcement will encourage the sale of flats in the capital

DEXTERS, London’s leading independent Chartered Surveyor and Estate Agent, welcomes the UK Chancellor’s attempt to boost the London and wider UK housing market through the announced changes to Stamp Duty. DEXTERS say that the announcement will mainly encourage the sale of flats in the capital, however Stamp Duty remains a flawed policy and the changes are not helping sell higher value homes in the heart of Prime Central London. In addition, the firm believes the ongoing shortage of housing supply remains the biggest underlying issue that needs to be resolved.

DEXTERS say that any change to Stamp Duty is to be welcomed and will boost demand as it makes a significant difference to moving costs. Across London the Chancellor exempting properties priced to up £500,000 from Stamp Duty will mainly benefit flat buyers in the capital and DEXTERS believe that is good news for the city’s housing market as stronger demand for London flats encourages people to climb the housing ladder and makes the whole market busier.

However DEXTERS feel that a wider review of Stamp Duty is long overdue so this announcement, whilst encouraging, is a missed opportunity. DEXTERS highlight that a key area of Stamp Duty reform needs to be for properties with higher values in the heart of Prime Central London. DEXTERS has 12 offices in Prime Central London, providing a greater presence in the heart of the capital than any other estate agency. DEXTERS portfolio of instructions in Prime Central London encompasses grand houses, townhouses and mews cottages, as well as apartments and penthouses in the capital’s best addresses.

At present DEXTERS says that Stamp Duty acts as a disincentive to both buyers and sellers in Prime Central London. For properties at the top end of the market Stamp Duty is set at a ‘crazily high’ level of 15% resulting in six figure Stamp Duty bills on a typical family home, and therefore for many downsizers the large bills for alternative properties put them off moving. This results in less people moving home and restricts the housing market and therefore Stamp Duty should be replaced as recommended by the GLA in their review of the London housing market.

In addition introducing a new threshold will create an unfair tax watershed where no duty is paid up to the announced price level then a large amount at just £1 over that level – so buyers will pay no tax for a home priced at £499,999 and then for a £500,001 property a buyer will pay at least £15,000 in tax.

DEXTERS say that this type of announcement has a distorting effect on the market, potentially reducing prices of properties in the £500,000 to £600,000 range.

DEXTERS highlight that the London property market has shown positive signs of recovery since the lock-down, mainly due to pent-up demand. Just last week DEXTERS have had over 600 new instructions as a wave of clients have put their apartments or houses for sale or let.

Sales agreed by DEXTERS in June 2020 are up 79% compared to the same month in 2019 and across the 12 Prime Central London offices of DEXTERS there has been a 100% increase in buyers registering compared to this time last year. This has been fuelled by increasing activity through DEXTERS International Relocation team and many more enquries coming through DEXTERS website, over 90,000 last week, up 61% year-on-year.

DEXTERS arranged over 9,000 viewings across the capital last week and the busy London firm are highly proactive in generating viewings since out of every 20 viewings only 3 are from the internet. The other 17 viewings are generated by the contacts and hard work of their sales and lettings teams.

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