Jeremy Leaf: Chancellor must deliver on SDLT rumours

Jake Carter

February 26, 2021

stamp duty

The worst thing that could happen with the Budget is if the Chancellor does not deliver on the stamp duty rumours, according to Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent and a former RICS residential chairman.

Leaf explained that while some regard the stamp duty holiday as inflationary and marginalising first-time buyers, it has “breathed life into a market, which was at rock bottom last summer”.

He added: “It would be a shame if many buyers, who are in particular need of the saving, are unable to capitalise on it through little fault of their own, but for the backlog in searches, mortgage offers or building works.”

However, Leaf outlined that there is the potential of delaying the cliff edge if the holiday is extended without tapering.

He said: “We believe Rishi Sunak has recognised the importance of an active housing market, not just for property people, but to aid wider economic recovery.

“We can envisage the concession not being extended to investors, but targeted towards further help for first-time buyers.”

In addition, Leaf went on to say that he would like to see clarity on Capital Gains Tax.

He said: “The threat of an increase has prompted record numbers of landlords to set up limited companies in anticipation.

“However, if it doesn’t happen in this Budget, we would like to see a medium to longer-term plan, which will reduce uncertainty and keep transactions moving.”

There are expectations that corporation tax may rise according to Leaf, which would now be relevant to those landlords who decided to take the limited company route.

He added: “They may find they are regretting their decision if corporation tax rates increase rapidly.”

Overall, Leaf outlined that he would like to see business encouraged rather than rates pushed too high.

He said: “Essentially, the Chancellor must not compromise on transaction numbers. Taxation should not be a deterrent to moving.

“It is so important for job and social mobility that people can move in and out of the market freely, and particularly after the pandemic that we can all get on with our lives, returning to normal as quickly as possible.”

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