Stamp duty changes hit Kensington and Chelsea hardest

Michael Lloyd

September 18, 2019

stamp duty

Kensington and Chelsea have seen housing transactions drop by the largest amount since the stamp duty changes in 2014, lettings and sales agent Benham and Reeves has found.

The changes saw the scrapping of the previous slab structure and the implementation of a new tiered system similar to income tax.

Since this transactions have plunged by -21.2% in Kensington and Chelsea.

Marc von Grundherr, director of Benham and Reeves, said: “While it was the changes to second home and buy-to-let stamp duty that have caused the most detrimental impact to the UK property market, it’s clear that even on a residential basis, the government’s re-shuffle has dented buyer sentiment across the board, particularly at the top end of the market.

“Of course, those buying a home at the highest price threshold may be better able to afford stamp duty, but a steep increase has left many thinking twice, while the average home buyer is still consistently caught out by having to pay it, and often deterred as a result of factoring it in prior to a purchase.

“Although the idea of switching the responsibility to the seller was a welcome one until it was quickly backtracked on, the government should seriously consider scrapping their archaic money grab to help stimulate an otherwise weary housing market, as tinkering with the nuts and bolts has done nothing to help.”

The changes were introduced to make buying more favourable for the ‘average homebuyer’ with only those buying at the highest price bands in line to pay more.

However, on average, housing transaction levels across England since the changes have dropped by -0.8% when compared to the same time period prior to their implementation.

Other areas impacted include the City of Westminster which was down 20.5%, Tower Hamlets down 20.2%, Elmbridge in Surrey which saw a decrease of 18.7% and Cambridge 18%.

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