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easyProperty backs switch in stamp duty for first time buyers

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.

  • David Bennett

    Start by splitting the Stamp Duty between buyer and seller, but ultimately, it should be the seller who pays the tax. Afterall, it is the seller who is getting the money. OK, so this might initially push up sale prices, as vendors try to add the SD to the final sale price, but market forces will win in the end. How about back to the sliding % scale, rather than a direct leap to a high % on top end sales.

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    Will that excite vendors to sell? So everybody who paid tax once when they bought will pay the tax again? Not sure it works.

  • David Bennett

    A vendor doesn't consider SD when selling, anymore that a buyer does. It's a tax and those that get the money, should be taxed. If the SD obligation switched, there would need to be an incentive to the seller, who paid when they bought. Someone else can work that out!

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