‘Prices hitting £250,000 limit for 3% stamp duty ’

The chief executive of property investment firm London Central Portfolio pointed to statistics from government body the Land Registry that showed that the average property price was £242,415.

Ms Heaton said average prices were “edging ever closer” to the £250,000 level where stamp duty goes up from 1 per cent to 3 per cent.

Subsequent figures compiled by LCP found that the most expensive houses in London were concentrated in Westminster and Kensington, and one property in Wilton Crescent, Belgravia, sold for £25m in the last quarter.

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The most expensive property outside of London was in Weybridge, Surrey, which sold for £8m in the past three months.

Ms Heaton added: “Headline average prices in London are becoming increasingly distorted by increasing numbers of ‘super prime’ transactions. These top-end deals tend to mask real average prices. In truth 63 per cent of all sales in the last quarter took place under £1m.”

Adviser view
Paul Good, adviser for Stockton-on-Tees-based Joslin Rhodes, said: “There are a glut of houses at £249,000 because everyone wants to avoid this extra charge. The houses at £280,000 are being reduced to £250,000 because they can’t get offers. I would adjust the rules so that 1 per cent stamp duty takes effect for properties worth at least £200,000 and 3 per cent applies for properties worth £500,000.”