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'Cut stamp duty now' agents tell Hammond ahead of statement

Estate agents are already setting out their stalls ahead of Chancellor Phillip Hammond’s November 23 Autumn Statement with one simple message - cut stamp duty on the most expensive properties.

Paul Smith, chief executive of Haart, says “the housing market is marked by negatives” and wants urgent action to turn viewings into sales. 

“Action needs to be taken to reverse the sluggish activity, to turn these initial engagements with the property market into transactions. A greater injection of confidence and stability is also important for housebuilders, in order to reassure them they will get good margins on the potential sale price of new homes if they start building again” says Smith. 

“Surely it is time the new government overturns the negative SDLT hikes both aimed at buy to let investors and at the top end. Measures need eased in order to increase fluidity within the market as these charges are without doubt causing a log-jam – no wonder when buyers have to fork out an extra three per cent on top of the seven per cent they are already paying” concludes Smith.

Meanwhile Alistair Elliott, senior partner and group chairman at Knight Frank, has told the City AM business publication that he wants the May government to come clean with its intentions on property tax. 

"They need to signify a ceasing in any additional stamp duty. It would be great for them to indicate a reversal of the trend. Increasing tax doesn't increase housing supply" he says.

Knight Frank says it has seen a 20 per cent drop in residential exchanges since the Brexit  referendum vote - not necessarily connected with stamp duty - but the agency’s recent London market reports have shown price falls and poor transaction levels above the £937,000 level where most properties begin to pay higher stamp duty than before.

"It has been significantly impacting those [high-end] offices. We've got to counter that by establishing more offices - more offices in other zones with more volume in the market" he told City AM. Yesterday we reported the opening of Knight Frank’s 30th London branch.

  • Brit Sixteen Sixty Four

    Meanwhile in the real world most first time buyers are priced out of the market due to buy to let investors and foreign buyers buying up all the homes.

    Tens of thousands of flat being built in London not for residents or key workers. No being built for investors many from thousands of miles away and not even intending to live in the properties. We have seen London become the world capital of money laundering using dodgy companies based in tax havens to buy up property. The stamp duty changes have helped combat this and are starting to bring down the inflated house prices.

  • Mike Morris

    trying to get as much support as possible,taking part in a charity bike ride next year Nicaragua to Costa Rica Cycle 2017, would be great to get some support. text donation set up too just text NGCR99 £1 to 70070
    https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/MikeMorris2016
    Many thanks for taking time to read this comment

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