Stamp Duty exemption for zero carbon homes will have minimal impact

Gordon Brown’s Budget proposals to exempt all new zero carbon homes up to £500,000 from Stamp Duty will have little impact on the cost of moving home, says e.surv chartered surveyors.

Richard Sexton, business development director at e.surv chartered surveyors, says: “This is a welcome initiative but in reality will capture very few homes today.

“It will create a demand from purchasers for properties of this nature, but we cannot realistically expect this to make any impact on the cost of moving home in the next few years.

“The demand for housing close to the workplace or in desirable areas will still remain strong.

“We would expect house builders to consider this as an opportunity to increase the marketability of new properties being developed – however, there would also inevitably be additional cost in building such properties until efficient construction methods ‘catch up’.

“It is disappointing that the move does not appear to encourage owners of the existing aging and less energy efficient housing stock to move towards zero emissions.

“However, positively, it is another sign that the government is attempting to introduce green policies into the housing market and should be considered alongside the requirement for energy performance certificate reports on all property sales from June 1, which in itself could make energy efficiency part of the decisioning process when purchasing a new home.”

Gordon Brown’s plans to increase the Inheritance Tax threshold from £285,000 to £350,000 in 2010, is welcomed by e.surv.

Sexton adds: “With the average property price now acknowledged at over £200k, this will be welcomed by homeowners concerned about their property value triggering an Inheritance Tax levy for their beneficiaries.

“Based on the valuations e.surv undertook in February for mainstream lenders, this would exempt circa 6% of UK housing stock from the banding.”