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Budget 2023: Property groups call for Stamp Duty overhaul

A property group is the latest to call for a Stamp Duty overhaul in today's Budget.

The National Association of Property Buyers’ (NAPB) Budget wishlist includes hiking Stamp Duty for overseas buyers, while reducing it in areas of social deprivation.

It would also like to see Chancellor Jeremy Hunt offer Stamp Duty relief for pensioners who downsize and to provide tax incentives for landlords on energy saving measures.


NAPB spokesman Jonathan Rolande said: “There are many ways the Chancellor could better utilise Stamp Duty. 

“Around £1bn a month is paid by homebuyers but despite tapering and exemptions for most first-time buyers, the system needs a total overhaul to make it fairer. 

Overseas buyers currently pay UK stamp plus 2% - we’d like to see an increase to generate revenue and help level the field for local buyers.

“Hunt could also look to reduce Stamp Duty in areas of deprivation to encourage investment and  offer Stamp Duty relief to pensioner-sellers moving down market to homes with fewer bedrooms. 

“This could free up much-needed larger homes for families.”

Rolande said he would also like to Mr Hunt make it unprofitable to land-bank, “which would encourage developers to build on approved sites with hefty taxes on vacant plots.”

The call has been backed by the HomeOwners Alliance.

Its chief executive Paula Higgins said: "We fully support the recent reforms to Stamp Duty so that first time buyers do not have to pay and there is a lower rate for those buying a home to live in. 

“But we cannot deny the reality that Stamp Duty is a hefty upfront tax on transactions that stops people from moving.

“Lets  scrap Stamp Duty for everyone buying a home to live in. Not only would this simplify the system, it would mean that people could move home when they want as well as it being a big boost for those who are thinking of downsizing.   

“Affordability is a huge issue for those wanting to buy a home to live in and can't. There is no easy fix but the Government needs to take this seriously and work with the lenders, developers and local planning authorities to publish a succinct plan. The first step is to stop the revolving door of housing ministers which we have seen for the last 20 years."

Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent and a former RICS residential chairman, said he would like to see greater encouragement of aspiring first-time buyers “which would reduce the number renewing rental contracts and release much-needed stock, as well as softening rents and improving standards.”

He added: “Easing planning restrictions, particularly for small - and medium-sized builders on smaller sites, would increase delivery and specifically improve first-time buyer accessibility. Introducing a Help to Buy replacement for first-time buyers, which is not regarded as 'Help to Sell' by developers, would also be beneficial.

“Encouraging downsizing into right-sizing, with higher penalties for leaving land or buildings empty, will ensure we make better use of the accommodation we already have. 

“Expediting the council tax revaluation so we're all paying our fair share with higher charges for second homes used for holiday purposes, would raise additional funds. While local authorities can charge extra now, many still offer discounts despite double assessments in some areas and proposal for triple in Wales.”


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