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Stamp duty switch puts brake on house prices

House prices in prime central London locations fell in December as a result of changes in the chancellor's decision to change stamp duty requirements, which sharply increased the tax paid on luxury homes. Prices of homes in London's most expensive boroughs fell by 0.1% in December, following a 0.2% fall in November. Estate agent Knight Frank said this pushed annual growth down to 5.1%. Tom Bill, head of residential research at Knight Frank, said the December price fall indicated the market had begun to absorb stamp duty changes and prices in some instances had moderated slightly to reflect the new charges.

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