Stamp duty no longer fuelling housing boom

Jake Carter

August 16, 2021

house prices housing boom

The stamp duty holiday is long longer fuelling the current housing market boom, with buoyant seller sentiment and a lack of available properties instead driving prices ever higher, according to James Forrester, managing director of Barrows and Forrester.

The price of properties coming to the mass-market has reached record highs, according to the Rightmove House Price Index for August 2021.

Forrester said that a cooling in the rate of growth at the top end of the market for larger homes was also to be expected.

Rightmove data shows that at the upper-end sector, with four or more bedrooms, prices fell by £4,699 (0.8%) month-on-month, meaning the overall result decreased the national average to £1,076 (0.3%).

He said: “Not only were homes of this description seeing the largest saving as a result of the stamp duty holiday, but we have seen lockdown restrictions spur many buyers to buy bigger.

“As a result, demand for these properties has been through the roof, and so this cool in asking prices is no doubt signs that this trend is starting to ease.”

Marc von Grundherr, director of Benham and Reeves, said: “London continues to trail the rest of the UK as a result of a drastically different market recovery timeline.

“While other regions have seen prices accelerate pretty much since the start of the stamp duty holiday, demand across the London market has stuttered due to travel restrictions dampening foreign buyer appetites and remote working impacting domestic demand.”

However, von Grundherr said that the London property market is a multitude of micro-markets reacting individually to super-local influences such as commutability, regeneration and the effects of demand overflowing from adjacent areas and from foreign shores.

He added: “It is a complex dynamic characterised by a huge +7.3% to -5.3% spread in annual house price growth and so to tar the entire London market with the same brush of underperformance is rather inaccurate.

“We are already seeing strong growth in a number of market areas and so it will not be long before this starts to show at a topline level and we do not expect London to trail the house price pack for long.”

Colby Short, founder and chief executive of GetAgent.co.uk, said he believes that homes are going under offer at an extremely fast pace in the current market and house prices continue to climb to new highs.

He said: “Stock levels remain at extremely low levels following the boom caused by the stamp duty holiday and while agents have been enjoying transaction volumes 50% higher than usual, this will soon become a distant memory as the market starts to shrink.

“Not only will this cause a considerable challenge for the industry but with buyers already facing stiff competition and an ever-escalating cost of buying, the task of securing a property will grow all the more difficult.”

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