haart the latest to condemn 3% stamp duty surcharge

Ryan Bembridge

October 11, 2016

haart estate agents are echoing the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors by calling for an end to the 3% stamp duty surcharge.

Last week RICS concluded that the UK needs to provide an extra 1.8 million rental homes by 2025 to meet demand, while it blamed the surcharge for putting off investors.

Paul Smith, chief executive of haart estate agents, said: “Surely it is time the new government overturns the negative stamp duty land tax hikes both aimed at buy-to-let investors and at the top end of the scale.

“Measures need eased in order to increase fluidity within the market as these charges are without doubt causing a log-jam – no wonder when buyers have to fork out and extra 3% on top of the 7% they are already paying.”

But not everyone is convinced.

Last week tenant charity Generation Rent defended the 3% stamp duty surcharge and the upcoming changes to mortgage tax relief, which will be reduced from 45% to 20% between 2017 and 2020 for higher rate taxpayers.

Betsy Dillner, director of the charity, said: “For too long the tax system favoured people who bought homes to make a profit over people who just wanted somewhere to live.

“The government’s recent tax changes should help to dampen speculation and give an advantage to people who have to date been shut out of the housing market.

“These are long-term measures whose success depends on house prices slowing down.”

And Lee Grandin, owner of mortgage broker Landlord Mortgages, suggested it was inevitable amateur investors were warded off owning a significant chunk of the market.

He said: “It was never going to politically acceptable or sustainable to have Tom, Dick and Harry own a BTL portfolio.

“Take note: A price correction where the losers are Tom, Dick and Harry with a BTL portfolio and the Banks who supported them is a vote winner.

“We all want our children to own their own home don’t we?”

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