The £2m effect….. With sales and prices of properties, mostly 2 bedroom apartments, rising sharply under the £2m level, you have to wonder just how effective the new 7% stamp duty band is. It raises a comparatively small amount of money (around £300 of the £6bn hauled in by SDLT annually) but it’s inflationary effect is being felt (and enjoyed) by the owners of such properties. A Notting Hill estate agent recently confirmed that 79% of all its sales were in this bracket and over half of those sales were concluded at over the asking price. Prices and demand are both at record levels currently, and you have to wonder who the real beneficiaries of the new SDLT band really are? They commented that activity above this level, whilst well above 2012 levels, is far more property specific, which is probably as it should be. Overseas investors remain active, and any forthcoming change to the tax treatment of capital gains is unlikely to alter this demand, as a degree of taxation is expected by investors.