Estate Agency CEO calls for stamp duty suspension

The chief executive of Residential Land has called for stamp duty to be halted temporarily.

During a talk at Property Week’s RESI conference, Bruce Ritchie opined that stopping the surcharge could be what the market needs in order to restore confidence.

He stated that whilst the stamp duty changes have not significantly impacted transaction levels so far, specific aspects of the market were stalling.

In order to reintroduce confidence to the market, Ritchie suggested that stamp duty should immediately be suspended, a position which was supported by Grainne Gilmore.

The head of UK residential research at Knight Frank stated that following the government consultation, halting stamp duty could be beneficial for both local authorities and those hoping to get onto the property ladder.

Ritchie also drew attention to the effect stamp duty was having on certain parts of the market, and that as a result, the quality of new developments is deteriorating.

“It’s stagnating a large chunk of the market, and it also means less affordable housing is being built, because there is less new development going on.”

Similarly, in an attempt to avoid the tax threshold, Ritchie also highlighted the decline in size of new-build properties, a result which is having an effect on both developers and families.

“The properties that are being developed are shrinking – we are not building the same family-sized homes we were building, and that’s the generational effect of what George Osborne did.”

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