Property Portfolio Rescue calls for Stamp Duty review

Nick Hopkinson, director of Property Portfolio Rescue is calling for a radical review of the Stamp Duty system and improved mortgage accessibility, ahead of next week\'s Budget:

He says: “The current Stamp Duty system needs to undergo a radical modernisation. The Budget provides Mr Darling with the perfect opportunity to revise this tax, which is both unfair and outdated.

“Firstly, I would like to see a permanent rise to £175,000 for the lowest Stamp Duty band, followed by a total overhaul of the current charging system towards a more tiered approach. In the current system, as you move up the bands of Stamp Duty you pay a higher percentage rate, so someone buying a property at £250,001 will experience a significant jump in the tax they are charged, compared to buying a property priced at £250,000.

“A far better approach would be to introduce a tiered system, where buyers are only required to pay the higher tax percentage on the additional value, above the previous threshold, akin to the current Income Tax system.

“Further, we need to see an end to the unfair treatment of investors who are making multiple property purchases. Instead of forcing this group of buyers to pay a levy on their full portfolio, Stamp Duty tax should be payable on an individual property basis, providing investors with a level playing field.

He says concerns over restricted lending remain a central and challenging issue.

He adds: “The banks are profiteering from the low base rate but on the whole, are still not passing on more attractive rates to help ease the pain for borrowers. The government must use its influence to get those banks under its control offering realistic and accessible mortgages. I am not calling for a return to irresponsible lending, but for rates that reflect the Libor and base rates.”