Demand for homes priced at £400,000 to £500,000 ‘jumps 49% after stamp duty cut’

Commuter belt areas surrounding London are particularly benefiting from a surge in house hunter inquiries following last week’s stamp duty cut, according to analysis.

Rightmove compared home hunters’ inquiries about properties in the days following the Government’s announcement with the same period the week before.

It found that Milton Keynes, Watford, Harrow, Chelmsford and Ilford are among the locations seeing particularly big jumps in buyer inquiries.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced last week that in England and Northern Ireland where stamp duty applies, buyers will pay no stamp duty on the first £500,000 of their purchase when they move home.

The measure, which lasts until March 31 2021, temporarily increases the “nil rate” band of stamp duty from £125,000 to £500,000.

Buyers can potentially save up to £15,000.

Rightmove said the biggest jump in buyer inquiries has been for homes priced just under the threshold at which stamp duty now applies.

It has seen a 49% increase in demand for homes priced at £400,000 to £500,000.

The next biggest jump has been a 40% increase in inquiries about homes priced at £500,001 to £750,000.

There has also been a 26% increase in demand for homes priced at £300,001 to £400,000.

Homes in the most and least expensive price brackets have seen the smallest impact.

Properties with a price tag of £750,001-plus saw an 11% uplift in interest, while homes priced at £300,000 or under saw a 1% increase in buyer inquiries.

Rightmove’s commercial director Miles Shipside said: “The uplift in inquiries is likely a mixture of people looking in new areas to see what they can now afford, changing their search criteria to bigger, slightly more expensive homes, and new movers coming into the market because they now have enough extra budget to move home.

“The savings of £15,000 on property above £500,000 may also help some people to trade up more easily.

“Our analysis shows that this is going to help the mid-market the most, but all parts of a property chain are vital to keep the market moving.”

Mr Shipside also sounded a note of caution for first-time buyers.

He said: “Although low deposit mortgage options are slowly coming back to the market, first-time buyers who were already exempt from stamp duty up to £300,000 may find that they will be competing with some buy-to-let investors also looking to make the most of the stamp duty savings in this sector of the market.”

Here are the areas with the biggest uplifts in buyer inquiries, according to Rightmove, comparing July 8 to 12 with the same period the week before, with the postcode area and the percentage uplift:

1. MK (Milton Keynes), 136%

2. WD (Watford), 109%

3. HA (Harrow), 103%

4. CM (Chelmsford), 95%

5. IG (Ilford), 91%

=6. EN (Enfield), 83%

=6. BR (Bromley), 83%

8. W (West London), 80%

=9. SG (Stevenage), 78%

=9. SN (Swindon), 78%

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