easyProperty, the online agency, says stamp duty should be paid by sellers and not by first time buyers.
The online firm’s head of operations, Adam Day, says he hopes the Budget next week produces some tweaks to stamp duty, such as a relaxation on it for older buyers who free up large homes, or for first time buyers, but goes on to say a more fundamental reform is required.
“We can’t continue to shift the problem from one sector to the next. First time buyers would benefit most from changing stamp duty liability to sellers rather than purchasers” he says.
“If the upper end started listing their houses, then those in the middle would start listing their properties. At the moment, those people in the middle don’t want to put their house on the market, because they ‘have nothing to move too’, and you therefore you have limited supply for first time sellers, and, in turn, first time buyers, which continues to force the prices up” he continues.
Switching liability for stamp duty from buyers to sellers has been advocated by a number of industry figures in recent months.
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.
Conservative MP John Stevenson also threw his weight behind switching the burden of stamp duty from the buyer to the seller.