Family Building Society urges government to review stamp duty

Ryan Bembridge

November 14, 2017

Family Building Society has urged the government to look at whether stamp duty should be cut or removed altogether in a study entitled ‘a taxing question: is SDLT suffocating the English housing market?’

The research, in partnership with LSE, found that London and the South East accounts for two thirds of stamp duty revenues despite having 30% of dwellings.

In London purchasers would have to buy a home for less than a third of the price of an average flat in the city to avoid stamp duty.

First-time buyer stamp duty cut gets mixed reception

Meanwhile the majority (58%) of revenue comes from properties between £250,000 and £1m.

Mark Bogard, chief executive of Family Building Society, said: “There is no doubt the stamp duty land tax is suffocating the housing market.

“Without some serious reform of stamp duty and recognition that the Help to Buy scheme does not tackle the issue of helping older home owners downsize, ordinary families will continue to shoulder a heavy tax burden while continuing to face a serious shortage of appropriate housing supply.

“It’s time for the government to make a real difference, to a real problem!”

The family report said stamp duty has resulted in people staying in the same homes rather than moving.

It has also impeded social mobility by discouraging people from moving to a house for a job that may be short-term.

Bogard added: “One answer would be for the government to cut some people a break – downsizers, family formers or job movers.

“Better still the government could cut rates for all buyers—or even do away with the tax entirely.

“These are big issues and will stimulate much debate. That’s what this report is intended to do.

“And the most powerful voices in it are real customers of the Family Building Society. Their words are in this report.

“The next question must be “Is anyone in government really listening?”

This year’s Autumn Statement will take place on Wednesday 22 November 2017.

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