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Exeter house prices are still skyrocketing - despite prices dropping elsewhere


Estate agent Roger Wilkinson says prices in Exeter will buck the national trend and continue to rise

By Howard Lloyd

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A leading estate agent believes house prices in Exeter could continue to soar until at least the end of the year - despite prices dropping across the country as the stamp duty holiday comes to an end.

According to Halifax, house prices nationally have dropped by 60 per cent on the five-year average in the first week of July as the stamp duty holiday gradually winds down.

Introduced by the Government to boost the housing market during the coronavirus pandemic, buyers have not had to pay any stamp duty on the first 500,000 of their purchase price since June 2020.

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However, that came to an end on June 30, meaning a five per cent tax kicks in at 250,000 for properties up to 925,000. Rates on properties above that are even higher.

That has seen house prices drop across the country - but not in Exeter and certain other hotspots in Devon, which have seen prices skyrocket since the start of the Covid-19 crisis.

Roger Wilkinson, owner of Wilkinson Grant & Co, said he saw no reason why the South West's property boom would come to an end any time soon.

Wilkinson Grant & Co managing director Roger Wilkinson

Wilkinson Grant & Co managing director Roger Wilkinson
Wilkinson Grant & Co managing director Roger Wilkinson (Image: @ Wilkinson Grant estate agents)
"The stamp duty holiday winding down has had no impact whatsoever on demand, which continues to outstrip supply.

"The effect of that is that the supply and demand ratio continues to drive up prices.

"How long it will go up for is hard to predict, but certainly through next quarter and even until the end of year, it would be reasonable to expect to see house price growth.

"Hotspots in particular, where demand is really outstripping supply, prices could continue to rise by as much as 25 per cent, whether that be Salcombe, Shaldon or Topsham.

"They have leapfrogged other addresses at other locations in the UK. Places like Bath, Bristol and Gloucester are already up there but there is no reason to think Exeter will not match those prices at some point.

"People are coming to the South West if they can, so it would not be a surprise to be to see house prices grow even if prices drop around the country a bit."

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According to Rightmove, the average house price in Devon is currently 305,185 - slightly lower than Cornwall's average of 317,622.

That puts both well above the national average of 260,358, according to Halifax.

A huge surge in demand from people living in big cities like London, as well as regular local demand, has resulted in bidding wars and property prices to rocket in Exeter.

From October, stamp duty rates are due to return to normal, which means the point homebuyers start it will revert back to 125,001.

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"Even six to eight weeks before the stamp duty holiday came to an end, there was no slow-down in registrations, even though people knew full well they would not get the benefit of the holiday," Mr Wilkinson continued.

"Besides, any saving - or perceived saving - thanks to the holiday has been offset by the increase in house prices.

"The holiday coming to an end may well have a big impact on prices across the country as a whole, but not really on Exeter or across Devon."


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