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While the vast majority of estate agents appeared delighted at George Osborne's reform of the stamp duty system, which makes 98 per cent of home buyers better off, the PR machines of the high-end agents were distinctly less enthusiastic.

Chestertons chief executive Robert Bartlett struck a different note to most agents by saying the initiative would "particularly affect London, where a £1.5m property is no longered considered expensive".

Jamie Lester, a former Apprentice contestant turned estate agent, said the capital was "already seeing the affects [sic} of the reforms" which he said would "send shockwaves through the London market."

Camilla Dell, a prominent on-the-record property industry supporter of the Conservative party and head of buying agency Black Brick - which specialises in multi-million pound property searches - said the measures would "hit values in London and the south east and will significantly slow the market."

Liam Bailey, who is global head of research at Knight Frank, warned that the higher rates of stamp duty at the high end "could act to reduce transaction volumes here and actually lower overall tax take." Meanwhile Savills said "an increase in tax liability takes time to be absorbed" and the new measure "significantly undermines any case for a mansion tax."

Two exceptions to the rule came from Hamptons International and Strutt & Parker - high-end agencies outspoken in their support for the initiative.

Hamptons' residential research chief Fionnuala Earley described the reform as "a big improvement on the slab tax" and "a good move." Stephanie McMahon, head of research at Strutt & Parker, says the way the new regime was introduced - at 11 hours' notice - was "sensible" and "shouldn't cause significant market disruption over an extended period of time."


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    There is far more to this than just savings - it may have a profound effect on the market as mentioned in my [url="http://blog.northwooduk.com/2014/12/stamp-duty-sdlt-changes-what-it-really-means/"]blog[/url] - hope its Ok to post it.

    • 04 December 2014 12:46 PM
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    Exactly. It's hard to have too much sympathy for these high-end agencies who seem to exist on another planet and only seem to serve the super-rich.

    • 04 December 2014 12:17 PM
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    I suspect lots of renegotiations will be going on in prime London - about time they had to work for their 100k+ fees... The fact is, it's good for the 98% of people who haven't seen the immense capital growth London has enjoyed.

    • 04 December 2014 11:59 AM
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    [quote] hit values in London and the south east and will significantly slow the market [/quote]

    Is this really such a bad thing The prices in London and the South East have been ridiculous for far too long - making things affordable for the majority of buyers rather than just a privileged few is no bad thing.

    • 04 December 2014 10:22 AM
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