THE DESIRE to move house for more space is greater than the enthusiasm to save money on stamp duty, according to Warwickshire estate agency ehB Residential.
The comment follows the release of figures from property portal Rightmove which show that 49 per cent more sales were agreed in May than they were in the same month in 2019.
The statistics, which refer to homes priced at more than £500,000, underline the agency’s conviction that the end of the stamp duty holiday is showing no signs of dampening a buoyant market.
ehB Residential office manager Clive Thompson said: “The fact is, if people were only moving because they could save thousands of pounds on stamp duty, they would have stopped putting in offers a while ago.
“People have been agreeing to buy properties in the full knowledge that they will be presented with a bill of more than £12,000 or £15,000 in stamp duty. Previous rumblings had been that the boom in sales was driven by the carrot of a stamp duty holiday.
“That is clearly not the case now. If people need more space, a change in stamp duty isn’t going to mean they can suddenly make do with what they have. Their needs will remain the same, regardless of what, in the grand scheme of things, is an overall small saving.”
UK-wide, according to Rightmove, the higher end of the market has seen a 12.3 per cent price rise since the beginning of the pandemic, with prices across the board rising by 7.5 per cent.
“Because there is such demand for properties offering more indoor space or decent gardens, people looking to move really need to be ready to jump as soon as something suitable comes up,” added Clive.
“Unless a potential buyer’s home is on the market and under offer, unfortunately he or she won’t be in a position to have an offer accepted, as those already in a position to proceed will be more attractive to the vendor.
“This may seem quite a leap of faith, but as we are a mature and very experienced team here at ehB we’re able to find patient buyers for your smaller property who are happy to wait a little while you look out for your next move up.
“The phrase the early bird catches the worm has never been so apt.”