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Stamp Duty Holiday Boosts Move to Suburbs

He didn’t just ensure the UK property market kept going through the nastiest – and scariest – year we’ve had in decades, thanks to Covid-19.  

No, Chancellor Rishi Sunak with this generous six-month Stamp Duty Holiday, also gave a boost to London’s previously-maligned suburbs. To the extent there were twice as many ‘suburbs’ property on the market in September this year than in 2019, the team here at Property Loop have noted. And at just the right moment too. In fact, there really couldn’t have been a better one as far as the ‘burbs of Greater London are concerned. 

One of the main thing’s coronavirus taught us, is that it’s great to have green space – or at least a garden. More space is better too – when in lockdown. While an extra bedroom can become the perfect work-from-home office. 

Inner London Sellers Saving £15,000 

But it wasn’t just the fact that the suburbs had all that greenery and far bigger properties than Inner London, there was also the maximum Stamp Duty discount to gain. With no Stamp Duty on properties valued at £500,000 and under, the Chancellor gave ‘burbs buyers a £15,000 discount. Inner City London dwellers were happy to cash in their luxury apartments for a larger suburbs home and all that additional space. They could then use the £15,000 they had saved in Stamp Duty for a Garden Room to work from. 

The Stamp Duty generosity wasn’t shared across the UK’s four nations. Only England and Northern Ireland enjoyed the free £500,000 threshold. In Scotland and Wales, the Stamp Duty Holiday was halved, to include properties up to the value of £250,000.  

So, which were the areas that benefitted most? Well, according to upmarket estate agents Hamptons International, the winners were Wimbledon (no pun intended!), Highgate, Kew, Putney and Chiswick. Balham too scored highly. In fact, Hamptons’ stats showed that 31% more buyers were looking at the suburbs after the Stamp Duty Holiday was announced, compared to just 12% in Inner London. This didn’t surprise us at Property Loop. 

One London estate agent put it beautifully when he said that the fundamentals of the market hadn’t changed, despite coronavirus ie marriages, divorces, and births still occurred en-masse. 

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Hamptons Has Highest Value per Property 

According to Hamptons, in terms of average costs per ‘burb, properties were selling for around £1,002,000 in Banstead, £893,000 in Kew, £875,000 in Balham and £884,000 in Twickenham. A typical house in Kingston was also selling for around £746,000. Head for Hampstead though and you are looking at forking out £1,513,000 on average. Meanwhile, West Ewell, which sits on the border of Greater London and Surrey, was recording an average property price of £489,000. 

When it comes down to it, you really can’t blame the suburb dwellers for ‘cashing in’ and looking for a bigger property for themselves in the Home Counties and further afield. At least, certainly, that’s how we feel at Property Loop. 

Property in Balham had the biggest jump in value at 7.4%. Compare this to Inner London where property fell by 1.6% in built-up Canary Wharf (where the average property is priced at around of £477,000) and 0.9% in Hackney. 

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