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The housing market seemed subdued in March 2012 as a major component of property tax, stamp duty land tax, returned to constrain first-time buyer affordability even further.

Figures from the National Association of Estate Agents confirm the suspicion that healthy activity in previous months was spurred in part by FTBs trying to beat the end of the stamp duty ‘holiday’, which meant they paid less property tax.

However, the trading-up nature of the housing market means owners at all levels are likely to see reduced FTB activity filter through to their rung of the ladder, regardless of how much their own properties are worth.

For instance, in March, the average estate agent saw their number of registered sellers fall from 63 to 61, in contradiction to continuing evidence that properties listed for sale are finding buyers with relative ease.

NAEA president Wendy Evans-Scott says: “The slight drop in reported supply levels suggests some caution amongst sellers, who were waiting until the full facts of the Budget were established and how that might affect house prices.”

We are still witnessing the shake-out from the Budget in terms of property tax, but if you are planning a sale, our Manchester accountants can help you to determine what your exposure might be, and how it might impact on the ease with which you can complete the transaction.