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Tens of thousands of sellers are coming to market in the southern commuter belt inspired by the stamp duty holiday, according to new data from the UK’s biggest property website Rightmove.

Commuter towns in the East of England have seen the biggest annual rise in new listings since Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the new tax holiday on 8th July.

The top five areas, all in the southern commuter belt, have seen the number of new properties coming to market double compared with the same six-week period in 2019.

Harlow in Essex is where new sellers have been most tempted to come to market, with the number of new listings up 121% compared to the same time last year.

Hertford (up 113%), Wickford (up 105%), St. Albans (up 100%) and East Grinstead (up 98%) make up the top five, which are all within a 70-minute train commute of Central London.

Increased demand in these towns, measured by people phoning and emailing estate agents, is also massively outstripping the growth of available stock, as fast-paced local markets are creating a rapid turnover of properties for sale.

Demand has increased by at least 50% year-on-year in each of the top ten locations, but available stock for sale is not matching this demand, meaning there is still an imbalance despite the new stock coming on.

Nationally, demand has risen by 61% compared to the same period last year, while the top performing regions are the South East (up 74%), and East of England (up 72%). Across all regions the percentage growth in demand is outstripping the growth in new supply.

Almost 94,000 new listings were brought to market across London, the South East and East of England between 8th July and 16th August, which is over 31,000 more than the same period in 2019.

This latest data follows a Rightmove study from July which revealed that homes priced between £400,000 and £500,000 in the southern commuter belt have an increased chance of selling as this is where buyers are set to make the biggest savings thanks to the stamp duty holiday.

Rightmove’s property expert Miles Shipside said: “We always knew that the stamp duty holiday was going to be a big incentive for people to get moving this year, and it’s certainly sparked a home-moving frenzy across commuter towns in the south of England. Thousands of sellers are being tempted to come to market in these areas for a number of reasons. Firstly, lots of  buyers stand to make pretty sizeable savings thanks to the stamp duty holiday – particularly in the southern commuter belt – so now seems as good a time as any to press ahead with home-moving plans. We’re also seeing a growing trend of people looking to move out of urban areas and into smaller towns, with homeowners in built-up areas reassessing their housing needs and looking for places with more outside space. Lastly, proximity to a station doesn’t seem to be as important as it once was, meaning sellers in these commuter towns are looking to move a little further afield as working from home becomes a more permanent way of life.”

By Benjamin Lewis

Benjamin Lewis is the executive producer of UTCR.Live.

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