Spring Budget SDLT Reforms Needed To Retain Buoyant Activity

The Chancellor has been urged to use the Spring Budget as a way of getting the UK moving with fears that economic and social factors could negatively impact the market in 2020.

Outside influences had a profound impact on the property market last year, with political and Brexit uncertainty resulting in UK lending falling for the first time since 2010.

With the threat of coronavirus also deterring potential buyers and sellers from entering the market, the government need to ensure the property sector avoids economic and social issues strangling the market for a further year.

Zoopla has claimed that stamp duty land tax (SDLT) reform will help to encourage moving and help the 2.7 million homes which have fallen into the 5 per cent SDLT band for property valued at £250,000 to £925,000 since 2015.

Richard Donnell, director of Research & Insight at Zoopla, suggests that governmental interventions aimed at boosting house sales will offset the money lost from increasing the threshold for SDLT and ensure the market remains buoyant and active during difficult times.

Richard commented:

“It’s time for the Chancellor to turn his attention to the core housing market and review the price bands and 5% stamp duty rate that covers averaged priced homes across large parts of London and the commuter belt.

“No government wants to cut taxes indiscriminately, particularly when losses could be high. However, any cut to the rate of stamp duty could stimulate much-needed marketed activity in southern England in particular.

“The average home-owner in London and the commuter belt moves every 23 years. Evidence shows that boosting housing sales has a direct economic benefit that far outweighs the impact on tax receipts.

“More housing liquidity supports home moves up and down the market and will boost labour mobility, ease pressure on transport and stimulate spending that can benefit the wider economy.

“At a national level, figures show that price growth since 2015 has pushed 2.7 million homes into the 5% SDLT band for property valued at £250,000 to £925,000.

“With UK house moves stagnating at 1 million annually and SDLT costs adding to the expense of a property transaction, the government needs to look at ways to keep Britain moving.”

Will SDLT reform help to improve the sector by encouraging more home moves? Do you expect the government to announce SDLT changes in the budget? 

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