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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Treat Johnson’s stamp duty promises with caution, say top agents

One of the country’s most respected agents has advised the agency industry to treat Boris Johnson’s pledges with real caution.

Black Brick buying agency’s managing partner Camilla Dell - who in the past has expressed her support for the Conservatives - says: “The market needs to treat promises made by the new PM, Boris Johnson with real caution.”

Johnson has made a string of broad promises to reform and reduce stamp duty, and has speculated on the possibility of it shifting from being a burden on buyers to sellers.

Now Dell says: “A move to reverse the stamp duty increases put in place by George Osborne, when the top rate increased from seven to 12 per cent would be very good news, particularly for the London market which has been suffering from an onslaught of tax hikes on property since the end of 2014. 

“We would welcome a review of current property taxation, particularly the three per cent surcharge and proposed one per cent additional charge on foreign buyers, which has had the effect of pouring glue into the market and resulting in a dramatic fall in the number of transactions happening on an annual basis.”

There is also scepticism about Johnson from London sales and lettings agent Marc von Grundherr of Benham and Reeves.

He says: “While Boris does have a fairly good track record when it comes to housing, he’s probably not the steady hand on the tiller that many would have liked. He has put his stake in the ground with a number of announcements around the UK housing market but with his plate already rather full, it’s unlikely that any of these will ever come to fruition.”

The rest of the industry has made it clear that it expects Boris Johnson to honour his pledges to reduce and reform stamp duty.

Poll: Will Boris Johnson keep his stamp duty pledges?

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