London house prices: West End buyers shrug off stamp duty rise and mansion tax threat as sales rise

 
Kasmira Jefford
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The total value of homes sold rose by 21 per cent year-on-year (Source: Getty)
The West End residential market saw no let up in activity over the first quarter of the year, figures show, despite changes to stamp duty and the threat of Labour’s proposed mansion tax.

Property advisory firm CBRE said sales transactions jumped by 33 per cent on last year as it agreed sales on £54.7m worth of homes, with an average sales value of £1.4m.

The total value of homes sold rose by 21 per cent year-on-year and by six per cent on the previous quarter when the stamp duty reforms were introduced.

George Osborne’s shake-up of the unpopular system means those buying a home worth below £1m receive a tax cut and those at the top end of the market have to pay a far bigger levy.

Reports show the market has cooled on the back of these changes. However, CBRE’s senior residential director for the West End Jamie Gunning said that after quiet end to 2014, it has been “inundated” with offers, particularly from second home owners keen to buy in Central London.

“Current sales activity in the West End clearly shows that the stamp duty reform introduced in the chancellor’s Autumn Statement has not had a detrimental impact on buyer appetite in this area,” Gunning said.

However, he added there was still uncertainty over a potential Mansion Tax should Labour win the election or form part of a coalition government, with several clients waiting until after 7 May to complete £2m-plus deals.

“There is pent up demand which we expect to come rushing through once we know the outcome of the election,” Gunning said.

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