38% say mansion tax unfair- recent survey

Bringing in a mansion tax on all homes worth £2m or more to raise money for the NHS has been labeled a “stunt’.

The British Property Federation was among the many critics of the move described as purely political. Other critics have said that the tax will affect “property rich”, but “income poor” who have lived in the same home for many years. Their homes have risen in value through no fault of their own and many owners would be utterly unable to pay the tax.

Recent research suggests that one in ten homes whose owners would have to pay the tax are in London – but they have just one or two bedrooms. Another 17% have three bedrooms and that just 1% would be considered ‘mansions’ in the traditional sense, with ten or more bedrooms. Clearly there are many super rich people in very large houses, but there are also some very ordinary people in very large houses. That is the dilemma.

Apparently there are about 110,000 homes in the UK valued at £2m or more and almost all – about 86.4% – are in London and the south east, according to one source. A well known high end national estate agent estimates the number of £2m-plus homes to be lower, Hometrack estimate about 58,500 and Zoopla approximately 108,000. 

Zoopla reckons over 85,000 home owners in London would be caught by the tax, and over 14,000 in the south east. After that, the numbers drop away sharply with, for instance, just 168 home owners caught by the tax in Yorkshire and the Humber, and 87 property owners in Wales. It estimates that the tax would cost an average of £15,000 a year. Zoopla also states that it is somewhat misleading to call it a mansion tax when many three bed family homes in London and the south east would find themselves caught by it.”

It has been stated that the Labour party estimate the mansion tax will bring in £1.2bn a year to fund the NHS, but already some senior people are apparently saying it is unfair to owners who have lived in their houses for a long time, only to be penalized by this tax.

In our business we cannot afford be political, neither are we economists nor statisticians, but it does seem unlikely to us that such a tax with its accompanying valuation costs, disputes and probable bad press will be able to put much into the NHS. Some politicians are suggesting that a fairer way would be to re access council tax based on current property values. The last valuation of property for this purpose was carried out 23 years ago.  Good luck with that too!   STOP PRESS  A Rightmove survey found that 38% of those asked thought a mansion tax would be unfair, inspite of the fact that it would only affect about 1% of the population. 10% didn't know. (All figures shown must be considered approximate )