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First-time buyers take advantage of London property market

There is now a higher proportion of first-time buyers in London since the change to Stamp Duty, research has revealed.

The change – which saw private landlords pay an additional three per cent in Stamp Duty Land Tax – has reportedly “scared off” buy-to-let purchases, leaving a bigger slice of the London market to regular buyers.

In total, 22 per cent of purchases of London homes were made by first-time buyers in the first quarter of 2016, and 34 per cent in the second. They were also the most common type of home buyer in the second period.

“Second-steppers” – or second time buyers – were also encouraged by the change, accounting for 22 per cent of sales in the second quarter, up from just nine per cent at the start of 2016.

Landlords, however, had rushed to complete their purchases before the changes took effect on 1 April.

In the first quarter, 36 per cent of all sales in London were made by private landlords, but this had dropped dramatically in the second quarter, with landlords occupying just 13 per cent of the market.

Nonetheless, the research shows that investors still make up the largest proportion of sales in prime central London locations, with first-time buyers more likely to buy in the surrounding areas.

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Jackie Prior

Jackie Prior

Associate Director – Head of Residential Conveyancing
I have specialised in residential conveyancing for more than 30 years, working my way from an office junior, progressing to a paralegal and qualifying as a solicitor in 2001.

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