Agency brand Chestertons has joined calls for Chancellor Jeremy Hunt to include Stamp Duty reform in his Autumn Statement.
Hunt will deliver his Autumn Statement on 22 November, with many in the industry hoping for policies to boost the housing market.
Richard Davies, chief operating officer at Chestertons, has suggested Stamp Duty cuts for downsizers.
He said: “A Stamp Duty exemption for downsizers would be a crucial step to help those wanting to move to a smaller property.
“Each year, we meet countless homeowners who are planning to downsize but, due to the Stamp Duty which can be as much as 12%, are put off to do so. A tax exemption would encourage downsizing which in turn frees up large, under-occupied family homes.
“We hope for the Chancellor to announce more support for first-time buyers such as an extension of the Mortgage Guarantee Scheme. With the public facing higher interest rates and the cost of living, however, some aspiring buyers; particularly in the capital; need additional support.
“As it stands, first-time buyers are exempt from paying Stamp Duty for any property purchase worth up to £425,000 but with the majority of London homes costing more, we would like the Government to raise this threshold.”
These views were echoed by Jonathan Rolande, from the National Association of Property Buyers, who said targeted measures rather than a blanket cut to Stamp Duty is required.
He said: “Putting more money into the pockets of buyers encourages them to purchase a home and allows them to offer more to the seller.
“That is the problem. As we have seen with previous cuts to the rate, including the post-Covid Stamp Duty holiday, very quickly, sellers ‘adjust’ their prices to reflect the new spending power of their potential buyer.
“In other words, any savings are quickly eroded. The market heats up and prices rise. We saw it in 2021 and we will see it again.
“In the short term it is a tempting ‘fix’ but it creates long term issues that make unfairness in the market worse.
“ I do not advocate a blanket reduction, but if targeted to certain, stagnant areas of the market, a Stamp Duty reduction can be a useful catalyst to get things moving again.”