Conservative MP John Stevenson is the latest to throw his weight behind switching the burden of stamp duty from the buyer to the seller.
In recent weeks the former president of the National Association of Estate Agents Simon Gerrard and Agents’ Mutual board member and London agent Trevor Abrahmsohn have called for the switch to be made. The Yorkshire Building Society has also made the case for the change.
Now MP Stevenson, in an article on the Conservative Home website and ahead of the November 22 Budget, is endorsing the idea.
He says it would be a fresh idea with which the Tories could re-engage with the young, because of its beneficial effect on first time buyers.
Stevenson says there are three key benefits.
“Firstly, it helps first-time buyers .... For first time buyers, who don’t have the luxury of a significant capital amount behind them after having sold another property, this could mean this difference between buying their new home and not” he writes.
Secondly there is fact that as it’s the seller who has access to a large lump sum (that is, the value of the house) they and their mortgage advisers can factor that in to the arithmetic.
“Finally, the change will help growing families move through the property chain to find the larger houses they will inevitably need. A growing family would only pay stamp duty on the smaller, often lower-valued property – opening up the market for larger premises”.
Stevenson admits there would be issues to be addressed - particularly ensuring that those who have properties now don’t unfairly pay twice once the reversal is implemented.
“I am also well aware that it isn’t the headline-grabbing policy so beloved of chancellors on Budget day, but I do believe it would be a meaningful and effective way of demonstrating to the young and aspirational that the government continues to support those who want to get on” he adds.
Stevenson concludes that without seeking to give the next generation a stake, they are likely to turn to what he describes as “riskier and wilder” Labour policies.