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Westminster 'least desirable location in London'

22-Dec-2014

Westminster has been selected as the least desirable place for first time buyers to purchase a property, according to new findings.

The central London borough was the worst performing of all the areas in London, with only 17 per cent of the advertised homes being snapped up

This represents a reduction from the numbers recorded in February, when 29 per cent of the properties were purchased.

The eMoov study also showed that Westminster has fallen to 93rd place out of the top 100 most in-demand areas of the UK.4

Instead, homeowners are increasingly opting for Bexley, where 71 per cent of advertised properties were snapped up.

Commenting on the research, Russell Quirk, founder of eMoov, said: "The borough of Westminster has the highest average property price in the country (£1.7m) and with the Autumn Statement stamp duty reform only benefiting those paying up to £932,000, things are unlikely to pick up any time soon.

"Add to this the possible introduction of a mansion tax if Labour win the next election and we could see Westminster fall even further down the rankings."

This year, the government has unveiled a number of new proposals designed to help more first time buyers on the market.

During the Autumn Statement, Chancellor George Osborne cut the stamp duty costs for lower-value homes and raised the stamp duty on those worth more than £1.5 million.

This would cut the tax for 98 per cent of aspirational homeowners and represents a £4,500 cut in tax on the average priced home of £275,000. 

Similarly, earlier this year, the government revealed that first time buyers are set to get a 20 per cent discount on new 'starter homes'.

Thousands of new homes are set to be built on brownfield land, and reserved for buyers under 40, under the government's new 'Start Home Initiative'.

Recently, the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) forecast that in 2015, house price growth will moderate in both London and the south-east.

The price of property in regional areas on the other hand, is set to get more expensive.

However, the availability of housing stock continues to remain a problem, with construction too low to be able to meet housing market demands. 

Mark Hayward, NAEA managing director, explained: "Although the number of new homes being built has risen, and the three main political parties have created large new build targets, the lack of capacity within the market means that the gap between supply and demand won’t close and we currently don’t have the resources to respond to the problem".
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