Top Ten Country Specialist
‘This has got nothing to do with Brexit – this is about stamp duty,’ says Mark McAndrew, cutting through the hype and the headlines. Strutt & Parker’s Mayfair-based senior director for national estates tells Spear’s the property market is feeling the ‘hard hit’ of George Osborne’s 2014 tax reforms.
‘Stamp duty has affected the domestic market,’ he adds. ‘Buyers are right to say, “I pay 45 per cent PAYE tax, I pay 20 per cent VAT, 8 per cent National Insurance – there’s no way out of what’s left I’m going to give the chancellor another 15 per cent stamp duty – you’ve got to be joking.”’ On the property market in general, McAndrew is seeing the drop in prices that started in prime central London fanning out across the south.
A 22 per cent fall between early 2015 and late 2018 has been matched by a 50 per cent fall in the volume of sales since 2013. In the Home Counties he’s seeing a 10-15 per cent decline, and in Wiltshire and Dorset a 2-3 per cent fall. However, there’s light at the end of the tunnel. ‘Things are on the up in the super-prime market – not yet in prime but it should follow,’ he says. ‘I think that once Brexit is settled more people will return to the market, after years of putting things off.