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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Stamp duty hike hits prime London but fringes boom

Higher stamp duty on £1 million plus properties has hit growth in prime central London and pushed it to the fringes instead.

Prime London property prices are expected to grow just 3% in 2016 but the capital's fringes will grow by around 5%, with Tooting and Queens Park expected to be the new hotspots.

London estate agent Marsh & Parsons, said the market below £1.5 million will be the main driver of price growth in 2016.

With a top rate of stamp duty of 12% the highest tiers of the London property market have slowed as buyers struggle to absorb the additional levy. 

Total prime London property sales dropped between the second half of 2014 and the first six months of 2015.

Sales above £937,000 – the threshold at which the higher stamp duty charges apply –have seen the sharpest fall of all.

At the start of this year, London homes for sale were typically achieving 95% of their asking prices, but this climbed to 97% by November.

Peter Rollings, chief executive of Marsh & Parsons, said: “There now exists a fundamental unevenness between sellers – who want to sell their properties at the prices they were at six months ago – and buyers, who are seeking recompense for the increased stamp duty levelled at them.

“It’s already started but it’s going to take a while to iron out these differences, and in the meantime the brightest spots of house price growth will be in places where average house prices are climbing from a lower base.”

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