Big mistake, huge!
It is not surprising the property profession has reacted angrily to the Chancellor declining to change stamp duty despite pleas from agents, suppliers and property consultancies ahead of the Autumn Statement.
There are very few activities in our economy that are as stimulating as property sales. Boosting the number of transactions could almost pay for itself as the economy is lifted from the property gloom. As a result, the continued stifling of the market is a missed opportunity for both the estate agency sector and the country.
There are a great many related professions that start to do well when estate agency is flourishing. Surveyors, removal companies, solicitors, builders, plumbers, electricians, kitchen fitters and decorators all benefit from more property transactions and all provide an increased tax take for the Treasury.
There is little doubt that disproportionate stamp duty taxes at the upper end of the market over the last two years have done more damage than anything else in restricting transactions, including Brexit. The country needs good flow transactions from the top end of the market to the bottom and excessive stamp duty is the prime factor as to why this isn’t happening in sufficient numbers. We want to see reduced stamp duty across the board particularly on second homes.
Punitive stamp duty charges higher up the chain stalls the overall market - and prevents people moving up and down. It is certainly questionable whether higher stamp duty has really worked; in fact it was probably counterproductive and politically motivated.
This is not about estate agents or the rich complaining, it affects almost everyone. We know from experience that when the property market is rocking, all kinds of businesses thrive, there is a feel good factor and more money is spent, creating jobs and increased tax for the government. We cannot calculate the exact figures, but history shows us that increased activity would be dramatic and any loss of stamp duty income for the Chancellor would surely be recouped without causing the worry and strain of the present tax liabilities. Post Brexit, the country needs a boost, so think again and bring back the feel good factor. It may not benefit everyone, but owning property is part of the British psyche.
In spite of the above we at Martyn R Cox & Co are still busy selling so if you require a Free Valuation and some well informed advice, call us on 01993 779020.