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Budget viewpoint: Stimulating a slowing housing market

14 November 2017

All this week the technical experts at Utmost Wealth will be giving us their views of what we might see. or they would like to see, in the Autumn Budget on Wednesday 22 November. Here, John Albon, Taxation & Trusts Specialist (pictured), gives his views on Stamp Duty. 

With reports this week that cuts to property asking prices are at their highest since 2012, do you agree that Stamp Duty should be changed? Would you like to see one of John’s suggested alternatives adopted? Let us know in the comments below.

With many commentators saying that Stamp Duty is acting as a deterrent to people moving home and slowing the UK housing market, should Philip Hammond be looking to find a solution in the Autumn Budget?

In my opinion, two options could be tried.

Firstly, make Stamp Duty a cumulative tax, whereby any Stamp Duty already paid gets subtracted from the amount due on subsequent purchases. So, for example, if I buy my first house for £175,000 house, I pay £1,000 SD. When I sell that and buy my next house for £300,000, instead of paying the £5,000 due, I pay £4,000. The cumulative figure is then deducted from that due on my next purchase.

Alternatively, switch the liability from buyers to sellers; people then would be paying duty on the, usually, lower priced home they are selling rather than the, usually, higher priced one they are buying.

This would especially help first time buyers already struggling to find a deposit, surveyors / solicitors fees etc. So, in the example above, if I sold my first house for £200,000, I would pay £1,500 on that sale not the £5,000 on my next purchase.

Food for thought?