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Londoners locked out of Chancellor's stamp duty deal for first-time buyers

Isabelle Fraser
The stamp duty cut has fallen flat in the capital, say analysts

The Chancellor’s attempt to reboot the property market by slashing stamp duty for smaller homes have fallen flat as first-time buyers continue to be virtually locked out of central London’s property market.

Analysis has revealed that there are just 387 properties in zones one and two which are under the stamp duty threshold of £300,000, equal to less than 1pc of the property on the market in London. It comes after the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) said last week that the stamp duty cut for first-time buyers purchasing property under £300,000 had been ineffective. In a survey of its members across the country, 86pc said that there had been no response from first-time buyers since the changes to Stamp Duty at the Budget in November.

Research by online estate agent HouseSimple found that there are just 5,961 homes across the capital on sale for under £300,000 on which buyers would have to pay no stamp duty. This is equal to 12.9pc of the total stock for sale in the capital. The area with the most homes under the threshold was Croydon, where 795 properties were available for £300,000 or less.

Sam Mitchell, chief executive of HouseSimple said: “The Chancellor wheeled out his big tax break offering to help first-time buyers and attract young voters. Unfortunately for the young London buyer, the stamp duty cut, while beneficial to large swathes of the country, won’t make much of a dent in their house buying budget.”

stamp duty changes for first-time buyers

There are 20,488 homes available across the capital for between £300,000 and £500,000, which would give buyers a saving of around £5,000. But this “won’t be much help if first-time buyers don’t have the funds in the first place to put down substantial deposits needed to buy even a basic starter home in inner London”, added Mr Mitchell.

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The Rics survey also revealed that London estate agents who were polled about the effect of the stamp duty cut were more positive than those outside the capital. It found that 28pc said that they expected the changes would increase overall activity, higher than the 12pc who thought so nationally.