Estate agent calls for Chancellor to lower stamp duty

Michael Lloyd

November 17, 2017

Estate agent eMoov.co.uk has urged Chancellor Phillip Hammond to lower stamp duty for first-time buyers as the annual Autumn Budget approaches.

This would give an additional hand up, similar to the added fee imposed for second homeowners and buy-to-let landlords, but in the reverse.

Russell Quirk, founder and chief executive of eMoov.co.uk, said: “In a market where the financial hurdle is the main obstacle for first-time buyers, the government should put an end to this archaic land tax.

House prices rise in the UK but London sees slowest growth

“It is already difficult enough to come up with the money to buy a property, and stamp duty only increases the hardship placed on first-time buyers to get out of the rental graveyard and onto the ladder.”

The government has already banned letting fees and judging by past Budgets, it is expected that this upcoming statement will have little impact on the housing sector or attack the buy-to-let market any further.

One of our largest demands is that both local and national governments reveal all the spare land that they own, in order to either sell it or develop it, because there is a lot of it.

Instead of using £1bn corporations to develop the land, they should issue its own developer who would oversee the construction of properties, allowing for thousands of homes to be built.

eMoov.co.uk claimed this should be overseen by experts in the sector instead of politicians and the planning involved in further development of this land needs to lose its democratic edge and NIMBY influence to be successful.

The estate agent believes the governmnet could solve the housing crisis by allocating 1% every 10 years of the UK’s less desirable greenbelt areas that would result in the construction of 600,000 new homes.

Quirk added: “We’ve previously called for tax incentives to developers so they actually build rather than land bank, and the wrongly classified areas of green belt land could also go a long way in addressing the shortage of property, if only local councillors weren’t so easily intimidated by the selfish cries of NIMBYs who don’t want to see outsiders moved to their green and pleasant lands.”

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