New buyer registrations for prime London homes soared in January as buy-to-let landlords scramble to complete their purchases before the stamp duty hike comes into effect in April.
Figures from estate agency Marsh and Parsons today show that the number of new buyers registering in January 2016 was 24 per cent higher than in the same month last year.
Outer prime London areas are experiencing the highest demand, the company said, with Barnes and Bishops Park seeing among the strongest rises in the number of buyers registering locally to buy property.
At the same time, the number of available homes fell significantly, down 12 per cent in the last three months of 2015 compared with the same time last year, with 13 buyers for every prime London property at the end of last year.
Marsh & Parsons chief executive Peter Rollings, said: “The New Year always tends to bring a resurgence in purchase activity, as buyers shake off the last of the Christmas holiday haze and re-focus their attention on climbing up, or onto, the ladder.”
“But the figures we’re currently seeing are strong even by those standards. Private buyers, landlords and other investors are rushing to secure their preferred property before 1 April stamp duty hike.”
Knight Frank has also reported a pick-up in sales volumes over the last months after a subdued autumn thanks to strengthening demand and due to buyers and sellers feeling a greater sense of urgency ahead of the deadline.
According to Knight Frank, prime property prices recorded a slight rise in annual growth of 1.2 per cent in January after dipping to a six-year low of 0.9 per cent in November. Halifax house price data also showed a slight rise in January.
But despite this recent recovery, the agent said sales volumes were still down 17 per cent in the second half of 2015 versus 2014 as the market slowed.