Londoners are choosing to rent rather than buy in a bid to avoid Stamp Duty according to a recent report from Douglas and Gordon.

The latest figures in the estate agency’s The London Barometer report shows there has been a 12% reduction in tenancies ending over the past year while tenancy volumes remain the same.

Douglas and Gordon lettings director Virginia Skilbeck said: “August is traditionally one of the busiest months in the lettings calendar and this year has been no exception.

“New applicants and stock availability are marginally down compared to 2014, but with a 12% reduction in tenancy ends compared to 12 months prior, the volume of tenancies remains consistent.

“In contrast to sales, prime properties in central London is experiencing a high volume of activity with 46% of Douglas and Gordon’s available properties located in these areas.

“Many tenants are realising the financial advantages of renting compared to buying and paying Stamp Duty; the prestigious prime addresses in central London command less rent over a three year tenancy compared to the tax payable on an equivalent property purchase.

“September is already proving buoyant, signalling a busy conclusion to the third quarter and a market that is thriving in response to a hiatus in sales.”

Sales have not come to a halt however, with the report also revealing a 20% to 30% year-on-year rise in purchases agreed. The majority of sales happened south of the Thames.

Douglas and Gordon sales director George Franks said: “Three months on from the general election, we are witnessing a year-on-year increase of 20-30% in sales agreed, new applicants and new business, as the market realises our forecast from last month of an early autumn spike.”