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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Prime London transactions improve - so do we need stamp duty reform?

Transactions in the troubled prime London market have actually increased year on year according to Knight Frank’s latest market snapshot.

The agency puts the rise down to the relative strength of the higher-value market - the number of £10m-plus transactions in the second quarter of the year was the highest since 2015. 

Activity was also boosted by the postponing of the Brexit deadline from March to October, the agency says. 

Meanwhile the agency adds that the number of prospective buyers in prime London has risen strongly over the past year and their total spending power increased to £51.5 billion in Q2. 

The improvement arguably raises doubts as to whether stamp duty remains as large a deterrent to buyers as claimed.

“The impact of higher stamp duty was initially more marked above £2m” explains Tom Bill, head of London residential research at the agency. 

“However, prices have adjusted more quickly in higher price brackets, where trading volumes are typically lower, and the annual decline in volumes above £2m is now more modest than above £1m” he adds.

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    More time needed, let things stabilize before more changes are implemented.

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