The Chancellor needs to look at stamp duty in the £1 million to £3 million price bands to ensure that people who want to buy a family home in London are not penalised to the extent that they think twice about moving. The London property market is healthy, but current stamp duty arrangements at the top end of the market are acting as a disincentive to sell. This has not only hit tax revenues but has also had a major impact on related industries, from construction, to furnishings and all services related to buying a home.
Stamp duty should be a tax on property sellers, rather than buyers, to help those trying to buy their first home, a major UK building society has said. The Yorkshire Building Society said that nearly three-quarters of first-time buyers now paid the tax, compared with just over half in 2006. The stamp duty threshold was increased to £125,000 in 2006 to keep pace with house price inflation. The building society has suggested that first-time buyers in the UK could save an average of £3,625, while Londoners could save £13,171, if the tax burden was shifted to sellers. Those moving up the property ladder could save an average of £4,154 across the UK, and £9,762 in London, it said. It is calling on Chancellor Philip Hammond to change the tax in his Budget on Wednesday.