Boris Johnson’s stamp duty plans could revive prime property market

Conservative leadership frontrunner Boris Johnson’s plans to reverse stamp duty changes could help to kickstart the prime property market, according to Vyomm.

The super-prime property portal says that a reversal of stamp duty changes made at the top end of the market in 2014 could boost prime prices by over £700,000.

Prior to December 2014, any property priced between £1 million and £2 million was charged stamp duty at a rate of 5%, with anything over £2 million taxed at 7%.

However, George Osborne’s reform of the stamp duty system introduced tax rates of 10% on any property priced between £925,000 and £1.5 million and 12% on properties costing over £1.5 million.

It’s been well-documented that the changes have had a significant impact on transactions and average prices in the prime property market, particularly in London.

Talking about his plans for a first budget should he become Prime Minister, Johnson described stamp duty as a ‘problem’ and said tax cuts could get the ‘locked up’ market moving.

As well as cuts to high-end stamp duty, Johnson also mooted cutting tax further at the lower end of the market with the aim of helping first-time buyers.

Johnson told the Telegraph:

“I think particularly in London there is clearly a problem with stamp duty and it needs to be addressed.

“I’m not going to put a figure on how much we’re going to cut but we will certainly be looking to do that because I think actually you can do that in such a way as to increase revenues if you get it right because the market is locked up at the moment.”

Vyomm’s analysis shows that in the year between the stamp duty changes, the average prices of all £1.5 million+ properties in England and Wales dropped by £103,988 from £2,797,013 in 2014 to £2,693,025 in 2015, equivalent to almost 4%.

It predicts, however, that a stamp duty reprieve at the top end of the market could see average prices in the £1.5 million+ price bracket climb by over 3.5% from the current value of £2,782,154 to £2,885,590 in 2020.

The portal’s predictions for the £10 million+ price bracket suggest London prices could be uplifted by almost £800,000 if the 2014 stamp duty changes are reversed.

A change in stamp duty like this would benefit residential buyers, however investors would still be required to contend with the 3% stamp duty surcharge on the purchase of additional homes.

Utsav Goenka, Vyomm’s founder and chief executive, said:

“Despite the string of attacks against the high-end homeowner in London and the wider nation as a whole, the prime and super-prime market has weathered the storm, remaining a very attractive investment for those with the financial means to do so with transactions showing strong growth in recent months.

“Although the market has adjusted and price growth has stabilised since these changes and the resulting price decline, there is currently an air of hesitation across all levels of the market due to the political landscape.

“However, a reversal of these stamp duty changes could provide the adrenaline shot that is needed to entice more buyers back to the prime and super-prime markets and this will see prices increase notably when it happens.”


Table shows market data for the year prior to and following George Osborne’s changes to stamp duty
Prime category Location Avg Price – Pre SDLT-Change (2014) Avg Price – Post-SDLT-Change (2015) Change (%) Change (£)
£1.5 to £5m England & Wales £2,249,849 £2,198,639 -2.28% -£51,210
£5m to £10m England & Wales £6,604,667 £6,525,226 -1.20% -£79,441
£10m+ England & Wales £15,808,118 £15,152,443 -4.15% -£655,675
All £1.5m + England & Wales £2,797,013 £2,693,025 -3.72% -£103,988
£1.5 to £5m London £2,315,081 £2,275,424 -1.71% -£39,657
£5m to £10m London £6,573,192 £6,538,645 -0.53% -£34,547
£10m+ London £15,857,040 £15,118,387 -4.66% -£738,653
All £1.5m + London £2,973,735 £2,872,325 -3.41% -£101,410


Table shows current market data and potential uplift of stamp duty reversal based on previous trends
Prime category Location Current Avg Price (2019) Avg Price (2020)* Change (%) Change (£)
£1.5 to £5m England & Wales £2,249,818 £2,301,027 2.28% £51,209
£5m to £10m England & Wales £6,581,540 £6,660,703 1.20% £79,163
£10m+ England & Wales £16,597,558 £17,285,977 4.15% £688,419
All £1.5m + England & Wales £2,782,154 £2,885,590 3.72% £103,436
£1.5 to £5m London £2,320,732 £2,360,486 1.71% £39,754
£5m to £10m London £6,574,510 £6,609,064 0.53% £34,554
£10m+ London £16,870,209 £17,656,057 4.66% £785,848
All £1.5m + London £3,017,761 £3,120,672 3.41% £102,911


*Average house price in 2020 forecast based on previous trends on decline of the market in the year following George Osborne’s changes to stamp duty tax in 2014. E.g. the £1.5m market in England and Wales fell by 2.28% in the year following the changes, so this projection shows a return of growth at the same level based on the current average sold price in this market.


Kindly shared by Estate Agent Today