More people tempted to buy homes in Surrey

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There has been a small shift towards more people making property sales just above stamp duty threshold in the county this year

To let/for sale

The proportion of homes sold just above the key £250,000 stamp duty threshold increased in parts of Surrey this year.

George Osborne surprised the property industry by smoothing the old stamp duty limits in December.

Perhaps the most important one in Surrey was £250,000, where stamp duty rises from 1% to 3%.

It was said this limit created a ‘cliff-edge’ effect where homeowners deliberately undervalued their property because buyers were not prepared to pay thousands of pounds in extra duty.

However, the latest figures from the Land Registry show a small shift towards more people making sales just above the threshold in parts of the county.

Between January and March, 1.5% of homes sold in Runnymede cost between £250,001 and £260,000 – up from 1% during the same three months last year.

The opposite effect occurred just below the threshold, with the proportion of homes sold just under £250,000 going down in Runnymede.

It was a similar story in Epsom and Ewell , where the proportion up to £10,000 above the £250,000 cut-off rose from 0.3% to 1.2%, while the proportion £10,000 below it fell from 6% to 2.9%.

The limits still exist but buyers now only pay the increased rates on the value above the threshold, rather than the entire price, potentially saving buyers thousands in stamp duty.

It is possible that rising house prices in Surrey are also contributing to the increased willingness of buyers to swallow the extra tax.

Many authorities in the StarCourier area bucked the trend, however.

In Guildford , which covers Ash , the proportion of homes selling for just above £250,000 was 0% (down from 0.7% last year), while the number selling for between £125,001 and £130,000 rose 0.1% to 0.3%.

In Surrey Heath, the share of sales between £25,001 and £260,000 decreased to 1.4% (from 2.2%), remaining static in Waverley at 1%. The proportion of sales just less than £250,000 rose from 0.3% to 0.5% in Surrey Heath and from 0% to 0.3% in Waverley.

Overall, house prices rose 11.5% in Surrey during the year to March.