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Buyers anxious to beat the bonus money rush

According to Cluttons values of quality property in prime Central London continue to perform well, ensuring it remains an attractive, relatively low-risk investment during the downturn.

James Hyman, Partner for Residential Sales at property consultants Cluttons, said:

"It looks like big bonuses will be paid this year despite the Government’s failed attempts to intervene in the case of the state owned banks. Bankers are already starting to look for property ahead of their bonuses being paid, and buyers know it will only be a few weeks before this cash starts flooding into the market, creating fiercer competition and forcing sales to sealed bids.

"The first quarter of this year will offer the best window of opportunity for sellers, as buyers spending upwards of £1million will be keen to avoid the additional 1% rise in stamp duty tax coming into force in April, which will take their stamp duty bill to 5%. The limited amount of property for sale also presents excellent opportunities for sellers over the next few months."

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