Experts suggest that overseas buyers are likely to act quickly to take advantage of the delay in any stamp duty surcharge on foreign purchasers.
Monday’s Budget revealed that the surcharge - at one time thought likely to be as high as three per cent - would now be only one per cent, and would not be introduced until after a consultation period which itself will not begin until the new year.
"Foreign buyers dodged a bullet, for now” EAT has been told by Carrie Law, chief executive and director of Juwai, the main Chinese international real estate website.
”The buyers we work with have breathed a sigh of relief. That gives them several more months to get their ducks in a row for any acquisitions they would like to complete before the surcharge could be considered and enacted, if it manages to get approved” she continues.
“We hope that ultimately the surcharge does not get approved. If it is enacted, we hope it remains at one per cent or less. At that level, the negative impact on the market can be minimized.”
Meanwhile Strutt & Parker’s head of research, Stephanie McMahon, says her agency is encouraged that the surcharge is being consulted on prior to implementation.
But she adds: “The timing of the announcement will fall at a very interesting time in Brexit negotiations, whatever is decided. Further taxation on overseas investors may be viewed as a crowd-pleasing policy but it is worth questioning whether this extra tax is really required at the current time. UK domestic buyers now account for 80 per cent of our transactions in London.”