Peter Rollings, CEO of estate agent Marsh & Parsons commenting in response to the latest figures from the Land Registry
Tue 28 Feb 2012
"Theres no doubt that demand from first-time buyers hurrying to beat the end of the stamp duty holiday buoyed national house prices in the short-term, but an improving mortgage market has been lending a helping hand. A growing number of high LTV mortgage deals, combined with persistently low rates have played a part in increased buyer demand. But the real acid test for the housing market will be how it copes after the stamp duty holiday deadline passes. If mortgage availability continues to improve, it may soften the blow of the end of stamp duty holiday, and support property prices in the lower tiers of the housing market.
"While a growing number of first-time buyers have been on the move in London, house price growth has been largely driven at the other end of the market, and this will continue in spite of the end of the stamp duty tax exemption. Demand for prime property in the capital is already flying, with investors from abroad seeking to insulate their money from the ongoing eurozone crisis in less volatile assets like Londons bricks and mortar. When you consider the severe shortage of stock in central London, and the sheer competition for each home that hits the market, the sales process is weighted heavily in favour of home sellers - and house prices rises are unlikely to run out of steam any time soon."