Online sector veterans Russell Quirk and Kenny Bruce have used social media to call for a temporary scrapping of all stamp duty to ignite the housing market after lockdown.
Quirk - founder of the original Emoov online agency and now a Keller Williams franchise holder - writes on LinkedIn that the government should use the housing market to turbo-charge the wider economy.
He contends that a strong housing market with fast-appreciating prices will encourage reluctant vendors to throw their hat in the ring, while also giving confidence to existing home owners that they have the equity to spend in the wider consumer economy.
Quirk’s primary call is for the government to therefore “abolish stamp duty on all home purchases temporarily, for just six months which means that to benefit from it buyers will buy now.”
He also wants the three per cent additional homes stamp duty surcharge scrapped, or at least suspended.
Quirk’s package of demands also calls on the government to give financial support to banks so they could in turn offer easier and larger first time buyer and buy to let mortgages; the reinstatement of higher rate tax relief for landlords, and put a short time limit on Help To Buy to spur reluctant buyers of new build homes to purchase in the immediate future.
“Artificially re-inseminating the housing market and creating a boom is what we need in order to drag us from the economic precipice that we may otherwise face” Quirk argues, saying that the likely alternative is an economic collapse that “might not only effect us all in terms of jobs, business failures and hardship but would actually hit the less well-off hardest if we do enter economic depression.”
Kenny Bruce, one of the founders of Purplebricks, backs up Quirk on Twitter, but calling for a more nuanced approach to stamp duty reform.
“100% agree. A simple stamp duty change for sellers who buy on. Sell at £300k [and] buy at £500k but only pay the stamp duty on the £200k difference rather than on the £500k purchase. So pay 2% rather than 5%. One simple change would create another 200,000 transactions a year in my opinion.”