By using this website, you agree to our use of cookies to enhance your experience.
Graham Awards


Stamp Duty cuts WON’T help the market - a contrary view

An industry analyst is challenging the long-established agents’ view that reducing or temporarily scrapping stamp duty would help the market.

On the day that Chancellor Rishi Sunak is expected to announce at least a stamp duty holiday for buyers at the mid and lower end of the market, Anthony Codling says cutting stamp duty will not bring any more first time buyers on to the housing ladder, as almost all of them already pay no stamp duty.

Instead Codling - a former analyst at investment bank Jefferies, known for his scathing critique of Purplebricks, and now chief executive of PropTech firm Twindig - says the way to get more first time buyers is to tackle the deposit problem.


“If we take the home costing just under £300,000 the first-time buyer stamp duty is nil but a five per cent deposit is £15,000. Most lenders have stopped offering 95 per cent Loan To Value mortgages during the COVID Crunch with most focusing on 85 per cent LTV which takes the deposit from five per cent or £15,000 to 15 per cent or £45,000” he says. 

“Making changes to Stamp Duty will not address the bigger issue of helping first time buyers secure a big enough deposit to get on the housing ladder” he adds.

As a radical alternative, Codling suggests that opening up the current Help To Buy scheme - currently restricted to purchasers of new-build properties - to the whole market.

This would mean, he says, that the 90 per cent of buyers who currently do not choose new-builds would have financial assistance, and the wider market would benefit from the injection of funding that currently goes solely to housebuilders.

In addition, he suggests that the government could also consider underwriting or guaranteeing mortgages so that a lender is at no greater risk for a 95 per cent LTV mortgage than for an 85 per cent ones.

This is vital because Codling believes the key to market success is not gained through a stamp duty cut or holiday, but by enabling more first time buyers.

He puts it this way: “At the lower rungs of the housing ladder, there is a hunger to climb the ladder quickly whereas higher up the ladder as we become settled and put down roots this hunger and enthusiasm is replaced with satisfaction and inertia to stay.

“To sell our first home we need another first-time buyer to take a step on the housing ladder so that we can move up it. If there are no first-time buyers the housing market grinds to a halt. 

“At the other end of the ladder, a downsizer needs someone else to trade up so they can trade down. The buyer typically needs to sell their home to buy a bigger one and this kicks off another chain which very often ends up with the need for a first-time buyer to climb onto the bottom rung of the housing ladder to allow everyone else to move up it.”

Poll: What will help the market more?


  • Matt Faizey

    Well, at least I'm not the only one to have read 'Home Truths' by Liam Halligan.

  • Lenny White

    As I've mentioned before SDT is a red herring. The Lenders need to free up the 90% loan to value finance; first time buyers are as ever the key to a sustainable market.

  • Welsh  Cynic

    An intelligent and well reasoned argument.

  • Matt Faizey

    A sustainable market begins with getting to 300k new homes per year.

    Only when supply matches or exceeds demand will the market, in the UK become sensible.

  • icon
    • 08 July 2020 14:02 PM

    Govt can easily solve the FTB problem.
    Introduce MIRAS
    Allow IO mortgages
    Allow such IO mortgages to have a term til age 90
    There just very effectively abolished the ridiculous MMR.

  • icon

    Thank goodness you're not setting Government policy.


    To Paul Barrett obviously!

  • icon

    90% mortgages are the only way forward. Lenders are not very imaginative though, They could split he mortgage and put a further 5-10%% of the loan on a shorter term, say 5 years so they get their 80-85% LTV. Affordability is an issue but its always going to be.

  • icon
    • 08 July 2020 18:29 PM

    Not at all.
    Far more sensible than current Govt policy.
    Not adopting such a very sensible strategy will mean the market remains in the doldrums for years.
    Gonna mean far fewer EA needed!!
    There is still the deposit problem.
    Feckless ftb can't be bothered to save.


Please login to comment

MovePal MovePal MovePal
sign up