Property sales up in March due to stamp duty change
Latest index data shows that property sales in England and Wales have seen their strongest March since 2007, up nearly 30% to 80,000 house sales. The data also showed that the average house price growth also accelerated, up 6.9% compared to March 2015 and 0.6% higher than February.
This means that the average home is now worth £18,745 more than a year ago with London showing the fastest growth as house prices rose by 8.2%. Other areas such as Bath and Somerset also saw a 5.3% increase during the same period.
It is thought that the impending stamp duty rise aided the strongest March house sales since 2007. A spokesman from Your Move estate agents reiterated, “The surge was widespread across England and Wales. This goes beyond any normal seasonality, with second home and buy to let investors rushing to beat a bigger tax bill.”
He added, “This will be welcome news for homeowners, who now have a fantastic opportunity in the current sellers’ market. The pervasive shortage of homes on the market is still driving up values, as buyers have to compete for each available property. If they are going to make it easier to get a foot on the property ladder, the Government will have to double down on its help to first time buyers, or let up on landlords.”
The data also showed that within London the home price gap has slowed, with the typical home cost in the capitals most expensive borough remaining 6.8 times higher than its cheapest.