Will stamp duty changes help the housing market?
Nick Leeming, Jackson-Stops chairman, and David Parris, Jackson-Stops Director of the Cotswolds, share their thoughts on the recent stamp duty changes. Chancellor Philip Hammond’s changes to stamp duty, as announced in last month’s Autumn Budget, will be welcome news to certain first-time buyers. However, Jackson-Stops chairman Nick Leeming believes this move is merely a ‘sticking plaster on our broken housing market’.

“First-time buyers struggling to save enough to take their first step on the property ladder will be celebrating the break the Chancellor has given them. In the most expensive parts of the country a typical first-time buyer home can attract a stamp duty land tax liability as high as £10,000. That money that can now be entirely, or in large part, ploughed into a deposit or spent on making essential renovations in the vast majority of cases,” said Nick. “However, without concerted efforts to build more homes, accompanied with a resulting uptick in housing completions, the change to stamp duty today is a sticking plaster on our broken housing market. Similarly, penalising empty home owners with a 100% council tax premium is unlikely to really be a deterrent for people who are likely to be high net worth. If they don’t need the rent, this penalty probably won’t bother them either! The Chancellor’s various strategies for increasing building must now start to yield results, and quickly, with many more completions of homes suited to a range of life stages and needs,” he concluded.

Evaluations and reforms needed

Jackson-Stops Director of the Cotswolds, David Parris, agrees and thinks more needs to be done to increase overall fluidity in the housing market. “I believe the Chancellor could have done more to encourage movement in the housing market. Currently stamp duty levels are not only restricting those home owners wishing to move up the ladder but also downsizers and second-steppers from making their moves. The entire housing market needs to be evaluated and reforms made to stamp duty accordingly,” said David.