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Stamp Duty: Why winter may be key for deciding its future

A leading buying agent says the first quarter of 2019 may be crucial in determining the future of the current stamp duty regime.

Johnny Turnbull - who heads Turnbull Property, which operates on behalf of high net worth individuals wishing to buy residential units in London - says stamp duty revenue across the capital over the financial year to April 2018 may have risen, but the critical period of assessment is still to come. 

“However, with latest data indicating SDLT tax intake across the UK was 10% lower between April and September than the same period a year ago, is stamp duty revenue intake set to fall?” says Turnbull in a newsletter to clients.


He says that some high value deals, of properties worth over £5m, have risen in volume and may produce more stamp duty income than before - “but will it bridge the gap?” he asks.

Then Turnbull turns to the future.

“The first quarter of 2019 may prove crucial in determining whether the Treasury will see a hole in its pocket in 2018/19” he warns. 

“The combination of London accounting for nearly 40 per cent of all UK residential tax income, Brexit uncertainty making a change in activity levels unlikely and consultation on a one per cent non-residents levy, make this a possibility.”

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    Many years ago in the UK, stamp duty was always 1%. France and Germany had stamp duty at 10%. They had big rental societies. Well who wants to pay all that extra tax? Joining the Common Market meant everything in Europe had to be more compatible. Now what are our stamp duty levels? Exactly. Do we have a big rental market now, of course, just like France and Germany. Brexit may mean less compatibility. Anyway i am sure the Govt will see the error of its ways in time and reduce these ludicrous levels of tax on homes. Remember, halve the tax, double the transactions = same revenue, plus all the other spin offs. If Brexit happens with no deal, this will be one of the ways the Govt will stimulate (rocket boost) the economy. But need Corbyn out of the way. Lets watch and see.


    Rubbish. See my comment below. People aren't buying houses in London and South East because they are terrible value for money. Seems like estate agents are the only ones who can't see this.

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    When the Government reformed SDLT they said it was a cut in Stamp Duty. Their OWN figures projected a fall in revenue from it. The fact that revenue from it has hardly fallen at all is testament to how resilient to the top end of the property market has been. It makes no sense to use a reduction in SDLT revenues as a stick to beat the SDLT reform when that was its intended effect. The reality is that London property is absurdly over-valued, and that is why no one is buying it. Look at the moves in other overvalued asset classes like US tech stocks, Aussie real estate and cryptocurrencies and you see what is in store for London property. But please don't blame SDLT. It has nothing to do with it.

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    Mr Walsh is obviously living in a parallel universe, to suggest that 12% stamp duty, plus a possible surcharge of 3% has nothing to do with a poor market at the top end is frankly incredible. Paying for example over £200,000 to buy a £2,000,000 property kills most transactions stone dead.....people have actually changed their behaviour and no longer focus on moving to a better property, neither do the downsizers who simple take equity release. These levels of stamp duty are a continuing and worsening disaster, and Mr walsh should perhaps wake up and smell the coffee.


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