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Developers want SDLT and tax changes reversed to boost sales

More than three quarters of developers want to see the government go into reverse on its stamp duty and mortgage interest tax relief policies in order to encourage more buy to let purchases by investors.

Research by specialist lender Amicus Property Finance, published in FTAdviser, shows that 78 per cent of developers want the government to change its mind on penalising the lettings sector, in the hope it would encourage more sales to landlords and in turn expand the private rented sector’s capacity.

In a series of questions about the government’s Housing White Paper delivered in February, only 21 per cent of developers questioned believe the Conservatives’ target of one million new homes by the end of 2020 could be achieved.

Almost 70 per cent think increasing the availability of brownfield sites will offer the most potential for developers with 49 per cent wanting reduced time limits - from three years to two - for those securing planning consent for residential schemes to start work.

More than two in five want to see incentives for elderly people to downsize and free up family homes, while 41 per cent think stamp duty should become a seller’s tax rather than a buyer’s tax. Some 37 per cent recommend a suspension in capital gains tax to encourage more land to come to the market.

“Though large scale government investment plays a part in stimulating supply, developers see the current tax laws as one of the biggest obstacles to solving the housing crisis, particularly repealing the recent stamp duty increases for landlords” Keith Aldridge, founder and managing director at Amicus Property Finance, told FTAdviser. 

In the survey some 51 developers were questioned.

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