A large Estate Agency chain says it has seen a 15% surge in buyer enquires since George Osborne’s Autumn Statement announcement of stamp duty reform in early December.
At the time Osborne said the move away from the slab tax system after nearly 300 years would save 98% of property buyers money and haart has hailed the reform for breathing life back into the property market.
Paul Smith, CEO of the independent agency chain with over 200 branches, said that despite taking almost five years, he is pleased that the coalition government has listened to the property industry as well as the wishes of consumers.
“The effect was immediate as we saw a 15% increase in enquires the day after the announcement as buyers who were previously reluctant to take a step onto or move up the property ladder suddenly had the door opened,” he said.
The organisation also posted its most recent figures, the highlights of which show that the average UK property price rose 7.8% in 2014 to £205,421.
In line with many other reports, the findings show a dip of 1.9% in average London property prices to just under £500k mark – the first time in over a year that single figure annual growth has been recorded.
The firm also found that first-time buyer property prices increased 1.9% between October and November 2014 and first-time buyer mortgages increased 11.8% compared to figures from November 2013.
Paul Smith concluded: “We are now optimistic for 2015 and while we may not see the market reach the giddy heights of the first half of this year, which is no bad thing, we predict that property price growth will remain strong and confidence will continue to ride a high as we approach the next election.”