Boost for southern commuter belt as demand jumps 49% for £400k-£500k homes

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  • Since the stamp duty holiday announcement there has been a 49% surge in enquiries to agents for homes priced between £400,000-£500,000, compared to an overall uplift of 14%
  • The tax saving of £15,000 has also increased demand for properties priced £500,001-£750,000, with enquiries up 40%
  • Sales agreed in the week following the announcement saw the biggest annual increase in the upper end sector, up 54%, compared to an overall average of +35%
  • Homes priced between £400,000-£500,000 in the MK postcode saw the biggest uplift in people enquiring, up 136% compared to the previous week, followed by Watford and Harrow
  • The top ten areas seeing the biggest jumps in searches are all in the East of England and the South, and collectively have an average asking price just under the £500,000 threshold


Last week’s stamp duty announcement for England and Northern Ireland has helped give higher priced homes an increased chance of selling in the southern commuter belt and outer areas of London where people are set to make the biggest savings.


The analysis from the UK’s biggest property website Rightmove compares home-hunters enquiring about property the week following the announcement with the week before.


The biggest jump in buyer demand was in the £400,000 to £500,000 price band where stamp duty is now exempt until 31st March 2021, up 49%, followed by the £500,001 to £750,000 band where buyers will save £15,000, up 40%.


In contrast, homes priced at £300,000 or under saw a muted increase of just 1% and the overall uplift across all property was 14%.


The number of sales agreed by sector shows that the higher end of the property ladder, where asking prices are on average £591,508, saw the biggest immediate increase, up 54% compared to the same week last year.


The top five biggest winners for a boost in enquiries were properties priced between £400,000 and £500,000 in Milton Keynes, Watford, Harrow, Chelmsford and Ilford.


For people still in the search stage of their home-moving journey it was locations in the South and the East of England that saw the largest uplifts, with Borehamwood seeing the biggest jump of 41%. The average asking price of the top ten collectively is just below the new threshold for England, at £483,081.


There was a 5% increase in the number of new sellers coming to market in England compared to the previous week, which we expect to increase further over the next few months as people look to make the most of the stamp duty holiday window.


Rightmove’s Commercial Director and Housing Market Analyst Miles Shipside says: “The uplift in enquiries is likely a mixture of people looking in new areas to see what they can now afford, changing their search criteria to bigger, slightly more expensive homes, and new movers coming into the market because they now have enough extra budget to move home. The savings of £15,000 on property above £500,000 may also help some people to trade up more easily.


”Our analysis shows that this is going to help the mid-market the most, but all parts of a property chain are vital to keep the market moving. Although low deposit mortgage options are slowly coming back to the market, first-time buyers who were already exempt from stamp duty up to £300,000 may find that they will be competing with some buy-to-let investors also looking to make the most of the stamp duty savings in this sector of the market.”


Price bands


Price band Increase in enquiries
£400,001 – £500,000 49%
£500,001 – £750,000 40%
£300,001 – £400,000 26%
£750,001 or over 11%
£300,000 or under 1%


Biggest uplift in home-hunter enquiries


Postcode area  

Price band

% increase in enquiries Average asking prices

June 2020

Stamp duty saving based on average asking price
MK (Milton Keynes) £400,001 – £500,000 136% £305,306 £5,265
WD (Watford) £400,001 – £500,000 109% £425,867 £11,293
HA (Harrow) £400,001 – £500,000 103% £482,691 £14,135
CM (Chelmsford) £400,001 – £500,000 95% £383,667 £9,183
IG (Ilford) £400,001 – £500,000 91% £401,933 £10,097
EN (Enfield) £500,001 – £750,000 83% £432,299 £11,615
BR (Bromley) £400,001 – £500,000 83% £539,645 £15,000

(portion above £500k not exempt)

W (West London) £400,001 – £500,000 80% £1,085,750 £15,000

(portion above £500k not exempt)

SG (Stevenage) £400,001 – £500,000 78% £310,820 £5,541
SN (Swindon) £300,001 – £400,000 78% £241,941 £2,339


Biggest uplift in searches


Area Average asking prices

June 2020

% increase in searches Stamp duty saving
Borehamwood £476,791 41% £13,840
Caterham £467,885 38% £13,394
Bruton £405,358 38% £10,268
Wickford £378,190 36% £8,910
Rickmansworth £674,533 31% £15,000

(portion above £500k not exempt)

Bushey £551,318 31% £15,000

(portion above £500k not exempt)

Watford £425,867 30% £11,293
High Wycombe £357,413 30% £7,871
Banstead £626,352 29% £15,000

(portion above £500k not exempt)

Wells-Next-The-Sea £467,107 28% £13,355


Sales agreed by sector


Sector Annual change in sales agreed
First-time buyer +29%
Second stepper +33%
Top of the ladder +54%
All sectors +35%


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