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Spring Budget ’17: Stamp Duty dominates property market’s wishlist

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  • 08/03/2017
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Spring Budget ’17: Stamp Duty dominates property market’s wishlist
We are just a matter of hours away from Philip Hammond’s first Budget as Chancellor. What do property and mortgage firms expect to see today in the last March Budget?

Yorkshire Building Society

The mutual has called for a significant revamp of Stamp Duty, moving it from a tax paid by buyers of property to instead be paid by the vendor.

Andrew McPhillips, chief economist at Yorkshire Building Society, said: “In its present form, Stamp Duty does not suit today’s housing market – it pushes up costs for those looking to buy, exacerbating affordability issues in a market where prices have vastly outpaced wage growth.”

eMoov

Online estate agent eMoov has predicted a different change to Stamp Duty, altering the rates charged at the top end of the market.

Russell Quirk, founder and chief executive officer of eMoov, said: “Relief will probably come in the form of a relax on Stamp Duty for high-end homeowners which should trickle down to the lower echelons of the market. This ease in market congestion will be as welcome for the average homeowner, as it will be for the beleaguered oligarchs from Marylebone to Kensington Palace Gardens.”

Residential Landlords Association

The Residential Landlords Association has published a seven-point wishlist for the Budget.

Suggested measures include scrapping the planned changes to mortgage interest tax relief for buy-to-let landlords, ditching the additional stamp duty charged on second homes and making EPC-recommended home improvements tax deductible.

Alan Ward, RLA Chairman, said: “This is not just a wish list that will benefit landlords and tenants, but one that will benefit the economy as a whole.”

habito

Online broker habito says it wants to see the Chancellor “put his money where his mouth is” and either extend or introduce new Help-to-Buy and shared ownership schemes.

Daniel Hegarty, founder of habito, said: “It is key to ensuring the long-term home building strategy reaches first-time buyers and families who have been left out of the windfall created by London’s surging valuations.”

Russell Simpson

Stamp Duty reform for those investing in property is also on the wishlist of London estate agency Russell Simpson.

Jake Russell, director of the firm, said: “Without question [the additional 3% stamp duty rate] has impacted the market, curtailing sales figures not just in prime Central London, but across the UK. It seems to be an issue that the entire market agrees on, with a number of respected figureheads and detailed research highlighting the problem, yet the Government seems reluctant to act.”

The Institute of Economic Affairs

The think tank doesn’t just want revisions to the way property is taxed – it wants wholescale reform. It has called on the Government to entirely abolish Stamp Duty, council tax and business rates, and instead replace them with “property taxes that are much less economically harmful.”

It has suggested implementing an annual property-based tax set at a fixed percentage of a property’s value, capped at 1%.

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