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Consumer group claims strong public support for stamp duty surcharge

A consumer group which champions home owners claims twice as many members of the public support the stamp duty surcharge as oppose it. 

The HomeOwners’ Alliance - which in the past has championed online agents over traditional ones in terms of cost - says its latest survey reveals that 47 per cent support the three per cent surcharge with only 18 per cent opposing it. Another 20 per cent declared themselves ‘neutral’ while 18 per cent did not know their opinion.

The HOA says its survey’s more detailed findings of respondents’ justifications for their views shows supporters of the surcharge believing the measures “level the playing field” between owner-occupiers and investors. 

Some feel there has been a shortage of homes available for first-time buyers and this will make it harder for buy to let investors competing to purchase similar properties. 

“There are some anti-buy to let feelings - a sense that buy to let may have been inflating house prices and pricing out local residents in some areas. Some also feel that those able to afford to buy a second home or to buy a property for the purpose of letting it out and making profit should be able to afford to pay higher stamp duty on their purchase” says a statement from the HOA.

“Those who oppose the stamp duty surcharge on second homes suggest the policy could have unintended consequences such as the surcharge being passed on to tenants in the form of higher rent. Comments also indicate that they feel the government is making another tax grab or that the policy is anti-enterprise” says the association.

However, the HOA survey also reveals that broad concerns about the impact of stamp duty on property transactions of all kinds have diminished since George Osborne’s reform of the tax in late 2014.

Back in March 2014 the HOA survey showed some 64 per cent thought stamp duty was a serious problem; now some 52 per cent say the same thing.

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