Wednesday 15 July 2020 12:01 am

Stamp duty holiday: Estate agent enquiries into homes worth £500,000 soar

Estate agents have seen a spike in enquiries for homes priced between £400,000 and £500,000 since the government announced a stamp duty holiday for homebuyers. 

The government last week lifted the threshold for stamp duty from £125,000 to £500,000 in a bid to reignite the housing market after months at a standstill during the coronavirus lockdown. 

Read more: Buyers return to UK housing market as lockdown lifts

According to the latest research by online property platform Rightmove, enquiries to agents for homes priced between £400,000 to £500,000 surged 49 per cent since the stamp duty holiday announcement was made last Wednesday. 

Homes in the Milton Keynes postcode soared 136 per cent, the biggest week on week increase, followed by Watford and Harrow. 

Overall enquiries saw an uplift of 14 per cent following the stamp duty holiday announcement, the company said. 

Enquiries for properties between £500,000 and £750,000 also saw enquiries jump 40 per cent. 

Rightmove commercial director Miles Shipside said: “The uplift in enquiries is likely a mixture of people looking in new areas to see what they can now afford, changing their search criteria to bigger, slightly more expensive homes, and new movers coming into the market because they now have enough extra budget to move home. 

“The savings of £15,000 on property above £500,000 may also help some people to trade up more easily.

Read more: Stamp duty holiday: What does it mean for the UK housing market?

”Our analysis shows that this is going to help the mid-market the most, but all parts of a property chain are vital to keep the market moving.”

However, he said the stamp duty holiday could make it harder for first time buyers who already had a higher threshold of £300,000. 

“Although low deposit mortgage options are slowly coming back to the market, first-time buyers who were already exempt from stamp duty up to £300,000 may find that they will be competing with some buy-to-let investors also looking to make the most of the stamp duty savings in this sector of the market,” Shipside added.