The changes to Stamp Duty ushered in by George Osborne in 2014 have reduced property sales in London and the South by up to 30%, analysis of Land Registry data has revealed.
The number of homes sold each year has plummeted by nearly a third in London and by 20% in the South over the past two years, according to the monthly Your Move/Acadata house price index, although the sales volume reduction has been less acute nationally, at 14%.
These figures are also very different across the UK. For example, in the northern regions the volume reduction is just 11% while in Wales the number of homes sold increased by 2%.
“The slowdown in London can now also be seen in the South East. Time will tell if the rest of England and Wales remains resilient,” says Oliver Blake (pictured, left), Managing Director of Your Move.
His company’s index reveals one silver lining and potentially brighter times ahead for agents.
The Christmas/NY shutdown for 2017/18 did not depress sales volumes as much as it usually does during the festive season.
“We estimate that the number of housing transactions [during] January 2018 in England and Wales at 64,000, down by 15% on December’s total,” says Acadata analyst John Tindale.
“This needs to be set against the seasonal trend of the last twenty years, where a 28% decrease in sales volumes is the ‘norm’ at this time of year.”
But decreased sales volumes driven by the Stamp Duty changes in London and the South are not – unusually –helping prop up prices.
The Your Move index shows that the capital’s average house price fell by 4.3% or £26,742 year-on-year to £589,533, and that its price drops are accelerating. Nationally, house prices fell by 0.4% year-on-year, but increased by 2.3% if you exclude London and the South.