Could stamp duty be for the chop or is that just wishful thinking?

A recent survey by Geodesys, a leading provider of conveyancing searches for residential and commercial properties, found that the abolition of stamp duty was top of a list of changes which could shake up the conveyancing process in the next 20 years.

The survey was timed to coincide with Legalex, the annual conference attracting thousands of industry professionals. It asked attendees to identify what they predicted would be the most significant change in the house-buying process over the next two decades.

After internal research from Geodesys, a shortlist of four options was presented to attendees at Legalex and via Geodesys’ social media channels. The shortlist featured:

  • Deposits at offer stage – a change in law requiring purchasers to pay a deposit to secure a house and offer financial reassurance to sellers
  • Abolition of stamp duty – the tax on residential and non-residential properties would be abolished
  • Introduction of a new home buyers report – upfront provision of information to potential buyers to aid the decision-making process
  • Secure property portal – a portal that all parties can use to communicate with each other in order to avoid fraud, access relevant data and reports and provide an audit trail.

Abolition of stamp duty proved most popular, with 40% saying that they believe this will be the biggest change in conveyancing.  Introducing a deposit at the offer stage of purchasing a property came in a close second at 31%.

Commenting on the survey results, Tim O’Brien, Head of Business Strategy and Development at Geodesys, said: “The survey answers proved divisive, with the two most radical suggestions proving to be the most popular amongst those taking part. Having been operating in this sector for 20 years, Geodesys has seen a great deal of change in the conveyancing market and the abolition of stamp duty could prove popular for both homebuyers and sellers alike.

“According to reports, £7.3bn was paid in stamp duty on property purchases last year and the average transaction cost of buying and selling a house is now £11,000 – in London, this is more than £31,000. However, there was no mention of stamp duty in the Budget last month so for now at least, it looks like wishful thinking.”

This article was submitted to be published by Geodesys as part of their advertising agreement with Today’s Conveyancer. The views expressed in this article are those of the submitter and not those of Today’s Conveyancer.

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