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Brexit and SDLT stifling prime sales, warns top buying agency

Property Vision, one of the country’s oldest and most respected buying agencies, has added its voice to those saying that stamp duty has stifled turnover in the prime London market - but it says Brexit, too, has made the issue worse.

In its latest market report PV says the increased stamp duty on high-end homes, since the reform of the duty by former Chancellor George Osborne, “has dragged down turnover by nearly 60 per cent from what appears, with hindsight, to have been a market top in 2014.”

It says prices have followed “but much less precipitously” with falls of 25 to 30 per cent in price for some of what the agency describes as “more overblown new developments in dodgy places” and 10 to 15 per cent across locations such as Kensington and Chelsea, and Westminster. Some other properties - “air-conditioned lateral flats in prime locations so beloved by the footloose international wealthy” it says - have remained static in price. 

However, PV says Brexit has added to the problem thanks to currency fluctuations.

For while the falling pound - significantly lower since the EU referendum vote - has attracted more international buyers, but that they are not willing to “take the hit” of selling and risking making a loss in the current market. 

“This has resulted in the third effect of tightening the market with more buyers and fewer sellers. This means an upward pressure on prices that seems counter-intuitive – but which has been borne out in the autumn market” says Property Vision.

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