Haart boss urges Treasury to cut Stamp Duty for downsizers as buyer demand hits a two-year high

The Treasury is being urged to consider a Stamp Duty cut for downsizing home owners to free up family homes as demand reaches new highs.

Estate agency haart has revealed that the number of buyers registering among its branches was at a two-year high during May, up 44.3% annually, but supply fell by 3% over the same period.

First-time buyer demand was also up by 34.9% annually, the highest growth that haart has seen since the Brexit vote.

The agent said that despite the annual dip in supply, there were 2.5% more properties on the market during May compared with April, while buyer registrations were up 3.1% on a monthly basis.

In lettings, haart says tenant demand was up 41.6% annually but supply had dropped by 0.2% over the same period.

The figures are more positive on a monthly basis, with demand up 10.5% between April and May and supply increasing by 4.6%.

Paul Smith, chief executive of haart, said: “The UK property market remained robust in May, as transactions continued to level and house prices remained steady on the month.

“We continued to see extremely healthy numbers registering to buy, and we now have the highest number of buyers on our books since May 2016, and the highest number of first-time buyers since August 2016, with no signs of demand slowing.”

Smith added that prices for detached and semi-detached properties have increased by 5.3% and 4.6% on the year respectively.

He said: “The Government must respond to the plight of the second-stepper and ensure it is building enough family-sized homes, and not just flats, to give families room to grow.

“However, for a quicker fix, the Treasury should consider extending the first-time buyer Stamp Duty cut to downsizers, so they are encouraged to free up larger family homes.”

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