A minister has floated the idea that stamp duty could be reduced on homes where sellers have improved energy efficiency.
Climate Change minister Claire Perry has told a BBC interview that the reduced duty could be an incentive to owners to improve the eco-credentials of their properties.
Perry says it is an objective of the government for all UK homes to secure at least a Band C energy efficiency rating by 2035 and that ministers are developing measures to make that happen.
When asked whether stamp duty was a specific incentive under consideration, she said: “Yes it is and that would be one of the incentives to do it. ... We also need to look at building regulations and new building regulations to see what more needs to be done there.”
She continued: “What we also need to know is at the moment there is no value if you go to take out a mortgage or indeed to remortgage your property for the sorts of energy efficiency improvements that actually mean your ability to pay that mortgage is better.”
The government is already introducing new regulations - Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards, or MEES - for homes being let in the private rental sector from next April.
Some industry figures believe this latest suggestion could be a way of government responding to those campaigning for stamp duty reform, without being seen as easing a duty which hits high value properties most.
“Is this the first movement on SDLT as they try to find a way to reduce the impact without losing face?” asked Peter Mackie, senior partner at buying agency Property Vision, in a social media posting.