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Propertymark backs devolved Stamp Duty for Northern Ireland

The Northern Ireland Executive should seek devolved powers over Stamp Duty, Propertymark claims.

The agency trade body has urged the Executive to prioritise the implementation of fiscal measures for Stamp Duty, claiming it has the largest impact on property agents out of all the proposed devolved taxes.

It comes as Northern Ireland’s Department of Finance published a consultation seeking views on the introduction of greater fiscal powers available to the Assembly. 


Propertymark held a focus group of property agents from Northern Ireland which helped to provide greater insight into the impact of Stamp Duty  on the housing industry.

When the body asked its members about the prospect of changes to Stamp Duty, only 12% stated that it should remain at current levels.

This includes Propertymark members who do not believe fiscal policy should currently be devolved.

More than half of Propertymark members surveyed stated that the amount of Stamp Duty paid should be decreased or the threshold should be set in a way that encourages first time buyers to enter the market and others to downsize.  

A further 35% stated that property taxes should be aligned at a local level rather than as a reflection of UK house prices.

Propertymark suggested that by decreasing the amount of Stamp Duty being paid and also removing the current additional supplement of 3%, more people will be inclined to invest in rental properties, reducing the impact of landlords leaving the sector.

The industry body has said that greater control over Stamp Duty rates and thresholds will enable the Executive to ensure taxation reflects house prices in Northern Ireland and respond more effectively to price changes.

Timothy Douglas, head of policy and campaigns at Propertymark, said: “Devolution unlocks opportunities for the Northern Ireland Executive to introduce measures that help boost demand in the housing sector. Given the difference in house prices between Northern Ireland and England, it is important that Stamp Duty reflects house prices and supports the local economy, which devolution can provide. 

“Reducing Stamp Duty has also led to a significant increase in market activity, as we have seen during the temporary freeze during the pandemic. 

“That being said, it is hard to ignore the concerns of our members and the potential for disruption for new policies to be enacted. We hope that the Northern Ireland Assembly returns to full operation to provide reassurances that devolved powers can be administered effectively.”


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