Agents selling homes at the high end of the market have generally welcomed the Daily Telegraph campaign to persuade the Chancellor to slash stamp duty for the most expensive homes - but there has not been unanimous support.
As we reported yesterday, the newspaper has launched a campaign ahead of next weel’s Autumn Statement.
Prominent Mayfair agent Peter Wetherell tweeted that ‘Osbornitis’ - a reference to the former Chancellor who was the architect of higher stamp duty on homes selling for over £937,000 - was “not good”. He added: “Stamp duty reforms are damaging property market and cutting tax take.”
Jeff Doble, chief executive of Dexters - which has over 60 offices in London, including 28 in high-value central London - said in a statement: “The Chancellor needs to look at stamp duty in the £1m- to £3m price bands to ensure that people who want to buy a family home in London are not penalised to the extent that they will think twice about moving.”
He says current levels create a disincentive to sell. “This has not only hit tax revenues but also had a major impact on related industries, from construction, to furnishings and all services related to buying a home” he adds.
Meanwhile Robin Paterson, joint chairman and chief executive of United Kingdom Sotheby’s International Realty, threw his weight behind the Telegraph campaign.
“I propose that stamp duty is halved from the five per cent threshold upwards. The Treasury would benefit from an increase in transactions and the market would receive a much needed boost. The 2014 stamp duty reforms had a significant impact on all aspects of the market but most crucially on British buyers. We need these buyers back to create movement at all levels” says Paterson.
However, not quite every player at the high end of the market agreed.
Buying agent and market commentator Henry Pryor was quick to put fingers to keyboard after the Telegraph campaign launch and asked on Twitter: “Seriously, can someone find me someone other than an estate agent who is worried about the top end of the housing market turning down?”
He continued: “Government was accused of allowing a bubble to develop and are now accused of doing something about it. Only estate agents seem to be complaining.”