Stamp duty holiday fuels booming interest in coastal resort

PUBLISHED: 08:27 23 July 2020 | UPDATED: 08:27 23 July 2020

An aerial view of Wells-next-the-Sea. Picture: Mike Page

An aerial view of Wells-next-the-Sea. Picture: Mike Page

A north Norfolk town has seen one of the sharpest rises in searches from potential home buyers since the stamp duty holiday began.

Real estate firm Rightmove said there had been a 28pc rise in interest in property in Wells-next-the-Sea - the 10th biggest increase in the country - since the government temporarily axed stamp duty on homes up to £500,000 two weeks ago.

Rightmove’s figures show the average asking price in Wells was £467,000 in June, so the stamp duty cut would see buyers save an average of £13,355.

Miles Shipside, the firm’s property expert, said: “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.

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“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.”

MORE: Demand for Norfolk properties soars as work-from-home triggers London exodus

Rightmove’s figures show the town of Borehamwood on London’s northern outskirts had seen the biggest jump with a 41pc rise in searches, followed by Caterham in Surry (38pc) and Bruton in Somerset (38pc).

They all have average asking prices of more than £400,000. The firm said it had seen a 49pc surge in calls and emails to agents for homes priced £400,000 to £500,000 compared to an overall uplift of 14pc. This could reflect the fact that greater savings are to be made out of the stamp duty holiday the properties costing closer to £500,000.

But, as reported in this newspaper, other factors are also behind an overall uptick in Norfolk’s property market, including a rise in the number of people working from home stimulating interest beyond London’s commuter belt.

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