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Stamp Duty changes are ‘shattering’ the property market, says agent

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Last year’s Stamp Duty changes have caused properties worth more than £500,000 to languish on the market while the majority of London vendors are struggling to sell across all values, an agent claims.

Using data from the Land Registry, guaranteed sales agent Nested found that most properties listed on Zoopla in May valued at over £500,000 remained unsold, with just 26.4% under offer.

Just 9% of properties above £2m are under offer and only 18% of properties between £1m and £2m are currently under offer.

In comparison, 41% of properties worth under £500,000 are currently under offer.

Across the UK, 39% of all properties on the market are under offer or sold subject to contract, slightly down from 40% last year, Nested said.

London’s property market, where only 26% of listings are under offer, is split between east and west, Nested claims, with just 15.4% of properties in west London under offer, compared with 28% in east postcodes.

Of properties on the market for over £2m in London, only 8% are under offer, well below the 37% with accepted offers for properties under £500,000.

Nested’s analysis also reveals that 90% of sellers in London failed to secure an acceptable offer on their home in the first 30 days of marketing.

Of the properties in the UK placed on the market in May, only 15% received an accepted offer.

Matt Robinson, chief executive of Nested, said: “The evidence is now crystal clear – the Government’s Stamp Duty reforms have shattered the property market.

“Brexit hasn’t helped the situation but the data shows that the Government’s Stamp Duty tinkering has stalled the market.

“This may have slowed rising house prices, but it has also stopped sales going through and has left many people stuck in their current property, unable to move up the ladder.

“Policy-makers need to look at how the market functions and find ways to increase fluidity in the system. Everyone will gain if we can open the floodgates on the supply of properties and loosen up the market so it is easier and more cost-effective for people to buy and sell.”

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