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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Stamp Duty sell-out? Agents doubt Chancellor will reform tax

A survey of readers of Estate Agent Today suggest that the majority believe the Chancellor will fail to honour a pledge to reform stamp duty in the Budget on March 11.

The poll of over 580, who were asked the question ‘Will the Chancellor really reform stamp duty?’, found 53 per cent believing he would not, and only 47 per cent believing he would.

Recent political analysis in the mainstream press has suggested that Sajid Javid may have limited room for manoeuvre in the Budget if he is to announce the level of infrastructure spending he has suggested he wants to commit, especially in the north of England.

Last summer Prime Minister Boris Johnson said during his Tory leadership campaign that he would consider raising the stamp duty threshold from £125,000 to £500,000 and cutting the top SDLT rate from 12 to seven per cent. 

At around the same time the new Chancellor, Sajid Javid, made clear in media interviews that he too wanted a reform of the tax - although his initial suggestion that the burden could be shifted from buyer to seller was later denied. 

By the time of last month’s General Election the only firm commitment regarding stamp duty in the Conservative manifesto was to create a three per cent stamp duty surcharge on non-UK resident buyers.

Although the government has given few details, this surcharge is thought likely to be levied on companies and individuals buying properties in England alike. 

The Treasury predicts this could affect as many as 70,000 transactions annually in England alone; research revealed that 13 per cent of new-build London properties were purchased by non-UK residents from 2014 to 2016

The government has already said that any income from a duty rise on foreign buyers would be used to fund measures to alleviate homelessness.

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