“Current stamp duty levels are a tax on free movement in London and it is massively disappointing that the Chancellor has chosen to ignore this," says Jeff Doble, CEO of Dexters.
"Families who want to buy a family home in London, perhaps moving from one area to another to buy a larger home for a growing family or to be closer to schools or work, are being penalised and many are opting to stay put to avoid paying punitive stamp duty in the £1.5m to £3m price bracket.
"The upper price brackets of a family home in central London, between £5m and £10m, are being hit with an aggregate of 15 per cent. This has reduced transactions substantially, impacting on the level of tax collected by the Government and is therefore damaging the economy.
"In addition, there is an entire eco-system built around moving house, from removals companies to furniture suppliers, from interior designers to painters and decorators. All these businesses are being hit by the Government’s refusal to reform stamp duty.”
Calls for relief on stamp duty charges that would boost movement in the property market were ignored in Chancellor Philip Hammond's Spring Budget today. Despite the Government's own admission in last month's Housing White Paper that the property market was "broken", tax thresholds will remain at the levels introduced in 2014. Currently, home buyers are liable for the tax when purchasing a residential property or a plot of land costing more than £125,000, or £40,000 for a second home. In London, where average asking prices stand at almost £625,000, the total stamp duty payable is an eye-watering £21,250. Even the duty payable on a starter home costing £350,000 adds £7,500 to the cost of buying.