If the government slashed stamp duty for the country’s most expensive properties the entire housing market would benefit, an estate agency chief claims.
Nick Leeming, chairman of Jackson-Stops - formerly known as Jackson-Stops & Staff - says: “Prohibitive levels of stamp duty land tax have been a real drag on the UK property market over the last financial year.
“While the changes seen in December 2014 appeared to be good news for 98 per cent of home buyers at the time, the top end of the market has suffered and this, together with the additional three per cent tax surcharge, has had a knock-on effect on the rest of the market.
“With buyers not prepared to pay an additional £153,750 in stamp duty on their two million pound primary residence, many are putting their moves on hold, thus causing transactions above £2m to fall by a whopping 17 per cent. Transactions in the under £1m market also fell by 7.6 per cent” claims Leeming.
His comments followed the release of figures from HMRC revealing that stamp duty receipts had increased by 33 per cent since stamp duty on homes valued above £937,000 was increased in later 2014.
Transactions involving stamp duty payment actually fell eight per cent in the past year according to HMRC, although duty revenue rose 18 per cent.
Leeming continues: “Although the treasury will be pleased to see SDLT receipts have generated £8,590 million in revenue on residential transactions, [Chancellor] Philip Hammond must view the property market through the eye of the homeowner and come up with a solution in the Autumn Budget.
“The government has been too harsh on buyers in the £1m-plus market which in fact generates 30 per cent of all SDLT receipts. If they were to take steps to reform the impact stamp duty has on the top end of the market, even just marginally, they would not only see their revenue dramatically increase but it would also get the market moving again at all levels.”