Chancellor Announces Changes In Stamp Duty

But what effect will these have on Chiswick's property market?

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In his annual budget address to Parliament, Alistair Darling announced the decision to raise the level stamp duty on homes over £1million to 5% from April 2011.

The permanent 1% increase was introduced to help fund a rise in the threshold of tax duty exemption from £125,000 to £250,000 for the next two years. "9 in 10 first-time buyers will pay no stamp duty at all," said Darling.

The move has been branded as 'cynical' with government accused of taxing wealthy home buyers who 'tend not to be their core voters'. However, the Conservatives did not oppose the rise and have said that they would not reverse the decision if elected to Government.

Some estate agents believe that the hike will 'distort' the market warning there will be pressure from buyers to reduce asking prices below the new £1m threshold to avoid paying the extra stamp duty. Others agents have welcomed the news, but what does it all mean for Chiswick?

Using Land Registry figures,’s latest property sales published earlier this month showed that a total of 52 properties had changed hands in W4 between 1st December 2009 and 19th January 2010.

Of these 52 properties, seven were sold for more than £1million and seven were sold for under the new £250,000 stamp duty threshold. The average Chiswick property priced at £600,000 will remain subject to a stamp duty of 4%.

Although there is a perception that Chiswick is out of reach for most first time buyers, these sale price figures (as opposed to asking price) could mean that this week's changes stamp duty makes a W4 property more of a reality for those looking to get on the first rung of the ladder.

Christian Harper of OliverFinn commented, “There aren’t a huge amount of properties available in the Chiswick area for under £250,000 so whilst it will be a big help in some parts of the country, it will drive a firm wedge around the £250,000 property band in W4. The next price rung would normally be £265,000 – £275,000 so it will be harder for sellers to achieve their asking price in this band – try selling a flat for 260K to first time buyers".

March 29, 2010