Winkworth says top-end tax grab is hitting London market

Estate agent Winkworth yesterday warned the Chancellor's tax grab on overseas buyers was casting a shadow over the top end of the London property market.

The firm has had to weather a stamp duty hike on properties worth more than £2m this year, as well as new rules levying a 15 per cent duty on those buying homes through a company.

A mansion tax is off the agenda for now but Winkworth said the market is "difficult to forecast as it risks being subject to further government intervention". Chief executive Dominic Agace still expects London prices to rise 5 per cent next year but said: "The agenda against the overseas buyer is a significant concern because they account for between 60 per cent and 80 per cent of the top end of the London market."

Sales of homes worth more than £2m had fallen by around 20 per cent since the new stamp duty threshold had been introduced.

Mr Agace said it would take the property market until 2015 to get back to the long-term average of a million property transactions a year, last seen in 2005.

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