Stamp Duty Cliff Edge Could Hit W12 Market Hard

Agents fear already low activity will grind to a halt if full levy restored

No sales reported in Television Centre development in latest quarter

The latest figures on property sales in the Shepherd’s Bush area show that levels of activity remain very low by historical standards.

Only 33 homes have been reported as changing hands during the fourth quarter of 2020 and activity should have been boosted by the current Stamp Duty exemption.

The holiday, introduced by the government to support the market means that the average flat sale in Shepherd’s Bush at the moment would incur little or no duty and substantial savings are being made on transactions involving larger properties.

The holiday is due to come to an end on 31 March but the latest reports suggest the Chancellor is considering a six week extension but after that a return to the rates that applied before 8 July 2020..

A local agent said, “The anaemic numbers in the latest release of data probably understate the level of activity in the market. There is quite a lot in the pipeline that is being rushed through.

“However, there are a significant number of sales at risk if the paperwork isn’t done in time. The administration of a property is sale is taking much longer than normal at the moment for Covid reasons and many look set to miss the deadline through no fault of their own.

“The government has to realise there is a huge risk in allowing a cliff edge situation to develop and the Chancellor really needs to do something in the budget to avoid this otherwise there is a risk the property market will dry up completely and an area like Shepherd's Bush will be particularly vulnerable. Merely extending the deadline for a few weeks only postpones the looming problems.”

Property in Shepherd's Bush

The low volume of sales make it difficult to judge the general direction of the W12 property market at the moment but the average price of a home sold in the postcode area during the fourth quarter of 2020 was £786,788 down 9.9% on the same period last year.

Larger family houses continued to be in demand and the top price paid during the three months was for a semi-detached property on Boscombe Road.

Flat sales have dropped sharply and no sales at all were reported in the previously popular Television Centre development during the period.

The numbers below are subject to revision as is it usual that some properties are added late to the Land Registry's database.

Shepherd's Bush Property Prices - (October - December 2020)
Area Semi-
Sales Terraced Sales Flats/
Sales Overall Ave Total Sales
W12 0 0 0 1033750 4 560917 6 750050 10
W12 7 0 0 1298000 5 311000 1 1133500 6
W12 8 0 0 0 0 480000 6 480000 6
W12 9 2300000 1 1037500 2 550937 8 798409 11
Total 2300000 1 1154545 11 522095 21 786788 33
Change over quarter - - 15.7% -54.2% 4.5% -38.2% 9.4% -44.1%
Change over year - - -3.7% -42.1% -28.8% -80.2% -9.9% -74.6%
Change over three years - - 7.2% -65.6% -8.2% -70.4% 2.3% -69.4%
Change over five years - - 10.0% -66.7% -6.4% -72.7% 3.6% -71.3%
Change over ten years - - 106.7% -66.7% 66.5% -58.8% 84.5% -62.1%

Source: Land Registry

The Nationwide House Price Index for January showed that the annual rate of increase i slowed to 6.4% from 7.3% in December, while average house prices have fallen by 0.3% month-on-month, from £230,920 in December to £229,748 in January.

Robert Gardner, chief economist at Nationwide, said, “To a large extent, the slowdown probably reflects a tapering of demand ahead of the end of the stamp duty holiday, which prompted many people considering a house move to bring forward their purchase. While the stamp duty holiday is not due to expire until the end of March, activity would be expected to weaken well before that, given that the purchase process typically takes several months (note that our house price index is based on data at the mortgage approval stage).”

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February 15, 2021