Commuter towns across the UK get stamp of approval

For Sale & sold home

The stamp duty cut is fuelling a property boom in commuter towns across the southeast of England.

Rightmove, the online property portal, said that it had recorded the biggest annual jump in seller numbers in the region since the start of the stamp duty holiday. Sellers are responding to higher demand, which is outstripping supply in many places.

The number of newly marketed properties has doubled in some areas, such as Harlow in Essex, which recorded a 121 per cent increase in the year to August. Demand there is up 90 per cent on the year and the stock of available homes has fallen by 4 per cent.

Estate agents said that sellers were responding to inquiries from buyers who were looking to trade-in places in the city for more space outside London.

Jake Latch, a sales negotiator at Reyland Johnson Estate Agents in Harlow, said: “It’s given people the incentive to take the plunge and move home — and for many people it’s a bit of a no-brainer, given the potential savings they can make. With lots of people not having to commute into London any more, people are taking advantage of a buoyant market.”

Rishi Sunak announced the stamp duty relief last month. It will be in place for the rest of the financial year and applies to transactions up to £500,000.

Rightmove said that demand for new homes had risen by 61 per cent nationally, but that commuter towns in the southeast had registered growth of 74 per cent. The northwest and the West Midlands lagged behind, but still grew at more than 50 per cent.

Greater demand has tempted sellers. New listings in Hertford and St Albans, in Hertfordshire, have risen by 113 per cent and 100 per cent, respectively, and in Wickford, Essex, by 105 per cent, Almost 94,000 new listings were brought to market across London, the southeast and eastern England between July 8 and August 16, which is about 31,000 more than the same period in 2019.

Miles Shipside, of Rightmove, said: “We knew that the stamp duty holiday was going to be a big incentive for people to get moving this year, and it’s certainly sparked a home-moving frenzy across commuter towns in the south of England.”