You are here: Home - News -

Knight Frank criticises overseas buyer stamp duty hike as profits rise

  • 08/10/2018
  • 0
Knight Frank criticises overseas buyer stamp duty hike as profits rise
Estate agent group Knight Frank saw profits rise by 14% to £166.7m in the year to March – bucking the trend of many of its market rivals.


The group also saw turnover rise by 10% to £525.9m but criticised the government’s approach to property taxation and prime minister Theresa May’s plan to hit foreign buyers with a further stamp duty surcharge.

“We believe a rethink is required on purchase taxes. The multiplier effect of a vibrant homes market across all regions and all price bands is well-acknowledged, and something we need to address immediately,” Knight Frank chairman Alistair Elliott said.

Under May’s proposals, individuals and companies that are not tax resident in the UK will liable for the levy which could be as high as 3%.

However, Elliott believes another levy on top of already high levels is not the answer.

“Multiple stamp duty changes in recent years have slowed transaction volumes in some parts of the market by raising costs and creating further uncertainty,” he continued.

“This in turn has reduced market liquidity, which is now leading to a fall in the stamp duty tax take.

“Moreover, overseas investment into new-build property has forward-funded the delivery of much needed accommodation, which otherwise might not have been developed,” he added.


Semi-commercial expansion

Elliott also urged a government rethink on property investment and called for business rates to be examined.

Streamlining the planning process might also assist in rejuvenating high streets where retail was no longer a sustainable option, Elliott added.

“We believe there is huge potential to reintroduce more homes above shops and a strong chance this may ultimately lead to a much-needed transformation of some high streets and communities,” he said.

Knight Frank’s results were a contrast to some of its biggest competitors.

In August, Savills reported an 18% drop in year-on-year profits in the first half of 2018, while Countrywide suffered a loss of £205m in the six months to the end of June.

Countrywide has seen its share price further dented as it attempts to rescue the business and bring together a viable recovery plan.


There are 0 Comment(s)

You may also be interested in

Business Skills

In this section, we offer short ‘how to’ guides on harder to crack areas of business. From social media, to regulation or niche product areas, we cover it all.


Our journalists interview key industry entrepreneurs, strategists and commentators for day-to-day market insight and a strategic view of where the industry is heading. We offer lessons for success and explore the opportunities for your business

Success in Practice

Here, we share case studies fleshing out best practice to help you decide what could work for your business. Take a look at how others approached complex tasks like launching a new mortgage lender, advising on a new product area or deciding to specialise in another. Learn from others mistakes and triumphs.


Each week, we ask top mortgage and property commentators with a unique perspective to examine a key news headline, market move or regulatory or political issue.


Vote in our weekly poll here. It’s your chance to tell us what you think and be heard on the top news stories of the week. Review our archive to find out what your industry really thinks and all our coverage of the results.

Top Comments

Be part of the conversation on Mortgage Solutions. We want to hear from you. We have a tool called Disqus to tell us which stories get the most comments each week. Every Friday, the team picks the most thoughtful or opinionated contributions from our readers to enjoy again. Don’t forget to share your favourite stories from the site on social media to keep the conversation going.
Read previous post:
Buying home in local area out of reach for 40% of young adults – IFS

Young adults are restricted in their ability to raise a deposit to purchase a home due to increases in property...