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Leading politician says sales tax on homes could help local buyers

One of the country’s leading politicians says a yet-to-be-revealed way of taxing property sales could be one way of helping homes become more affordable to local buyers.

Mark Drakeford - Labour’s first minister in Wales, and now well-known throughout the UK for his role during the pandemic - says: “It's so sad that you can be raised in a community, to feel love towards that community, and then the door gets slammed shut in your face because the houses are too expensive for you to live there."

According to the BBC’s coverage of his visit to north Wales, he said he hoped his administration’s future plans would help young people currently unable to stay in their home towns because of property prices.

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"It will be some measures to do with the way we tax property sales, there'll be measures to do with planning - rights local authorities will be able to use. There will be things we can use to do with land transaction arrangements."

No specific changes to tax and planning rules have been released by Drakeford, whose party performed well in recent elections in Wales.  

Land Transaction Tax is the tax that replaced stamp duty in Wales, introduced under Drakeford’s administration, while Wales is the only part of the UK where local authorities have powers to charge higher levels of council tax on both long-term empty properties and second homes. 

Like the stamp duty levied in England, there is an LTT holiday currently underway in Wales.

For sales completed up to June 30 people can buy a home worth up to £250,000 without paying it, after Drakeford’s government scrapped the lowest rate of 3.5 per cent for homes costing more than £180,000.

Any amount above a sale price of more than £250,000 attracts a five per cent charge with higher rates for more expensive property.

For sales completed from July 1, buyers face the return of 3.5 per cent LTT on homes between £180,000 and £250,000.

  • Trevor Cooper

    The current high prices of residential properties is led by mortgage providers allowing 5 times even 5.5 times joint salary products, throwing more money in an already heated market.
    My first mortgage was based on 3 times my salary, with no account for my wife's salary.
    The market price of houses reflected what buyers could afford.

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