The market is busy in the face of the upcoming General Election. Buyers are jumping in where they see good value, good locations or both. There is plenty of interest in the top end of the market; if this is being hampered then it's by high stamp duty rates; the upcoming election seems to be having little effect.
The small Government majority seems to have spawned some ill-considered policy of late - not least the stamp duty rates which are unnecessarily high and damaging to the London market and economy. There is no reason for the high percentage bands - by their nature, percentages levy higher amounts at higher values. With the 3% addition the top of the market is saddled with a 15% tax.
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Property market experts are sanguine about the potential of the election to damp activity over the next seven weeks. Stephen Johnson, managing director of commercial lending at Shawbrook Bank, said he saw relatively little impact on the housing market from a race that appeared more certain than most. “It’s a pretty short run in and I think most people expect a straightforward majority for the Conservatives.” But some property experts said they would advise clients to put decisions on hold. “You’ve only got to wait seven weeks,” said Gary Festa, executive director at mortgage broker HFM Columbus. “Sit tight and see which way this goes.”