With the Autumn statement coming up I was interested to read in this article that there are calls for the Chancellor to again consider a further review of stamp duty to simulate the market.
Few would argue that George Osborne's changes in recent years have had a dramatic effect - the higher rate over £1million has certainly affected this section of the market . The new additional rate of 3% on second properties which catches many buy to let investors - whilst resulting a massive increase in transactions up to the deadline now means there are very few transactions of this type going through. The forthcoming tax changes for landlords will surely have a further slowing effect on this sector.
Would shifting the burden to sellers have the desired effect of simulating the market ? Given that most agents continue to state that shortage of property coming to the market is their main concern surely requiring the seller to pay stamp duty would only have a detrimental effect.
Other suggestions include waiving stamp duty for those downsizing although I would have thought that in this instance people are not going to be too worried about stamp duty when they are releasing equity. It is however recognised that these properties do need to be released into the property market.
The greatest incentives to first time buyers in the past have been favourable rates or exemptions for limited periods of time. This however presupposes there are properties out there for them to buy.
All it perhaps goes to prove is that the property market is dependent on so many interrelating factors that no one move in one direction or the other is going to be the solution.
The chief executive of one of the UK’s biggest builders has raised the spectre of shifting the burden of stamp duty from buyers to sellers in order to resuscitate the stalled housing market.