Spike in demand for Hertfordshire homes priced up to £500,000

Areas of Hertfordshire have seen some of the biggest increases in agent enquiries and online searche

Areas of Hertfordshire have seen some of the biggest increases in agent enquiries and online searches since the stamp duty changes were announced last week. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

There has been a surge in interest in commuter belt homes priced up to half a million pounds since the stamp duty threshold was increased last week.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak lifted the point at which most movers need to pay stamp duty from £125,000 to £500,000 on Wednesday (July 8), meaning savings of up to £15,000.

Rightmove has reported a 49 per cent increase in enquiries to agents for homes in the £400,000-£500,000 price bracket since last week’s announcement, compared to a rise of just 14 per cent for all properties.

Homes priced between half a million and £750,000 have seen similar levels of interest, with enquiries up 40 per cent.

While homes priced between £400,000-£500,000 in Milton Keynes saw the biggest increase in enquiries, up 136 per cent on the previous week, Watford (109 per cent) and Stevenage (78 per cent) weren’t far behind.

Herts also saw some of the biggest increases in online searches, with Borehamwood seeing the biggest lift at 41 per cent, followed by Rickmansworth (31 per cent), Bushey (31 per cent) and Watford (30 per cent).

Indeed, the 10 areas seeing the biggest jumps in searches are all in the East of England and the South, and collectively have an average asking price of £483,081.

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Rightmove’s Miles Shipside 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.

“The savings of £15,000 on property above £500,000 may also help some people to trade up more easily.”

He added: “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.”