Robert Sinclair leads calls for stamp duty change

Jessica Nangle

November 22, 2016

Chancellor Philip Hammond should use the Autumn Statement to take a second look at stamp duty according to Robert Sinclair, chief executive of the Association of Mortgage Intermediaries and the Association of Finance Brokers.

Back in 2015, in the final Autumn Statement before the general election, then Chancellor George Osborne pledged to reform what he called a “badly designed tax on aspiration”.

The new system reduced the amount of stamp duty paid on 98% of purchases but raised it on the rest. It also saw anyone purchasing an additional property having to pay an extra 3% stamp duty.

It’s now two years since former Chancellor George Osborne stood at the despatch box and announced the changes but Sinclair has said the reforms need to be looked at again.

The AMI chief executive has warned that “rates on higher value properties are slowing the market and need to be reduced”. And this is a view echoed by other industry figures.

Giles Duckworth, practice principle of GRD financial services, said he hoped to see “see stamp duty on second properties abolished”.

He added: “I’ve seen this levy unfairly affect many aspiring low to middle income homeowners.”

On properties over £125k stamp duty rates can be as much as 12% which David Copland, director of TMA mortgages, argued needs to be amended to make the housing market more inclusive.

Copland said: “The current housing market could be re-balanced with a change in stamp duty thresholds.

“Policymakers could raise the threshold for first time buyer’s to £250k, helping more people onto the property ladder.”

Duckworth agreed with Copland adding :”Due considerations must be given to homeowners with two properties.”

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