Stamp duty land tax “bonanza” over: Family Building Society

The Family Building Society chief executive Mark Bogard has declared the stamp duty land tax bonanza is over in a report carried out in conjunction with the London School of Economics.

His comment comes after figures recently published by HMRC showed that housing transactions were at near historic lows, which has led to stamp duty land tax takings being 13 per cent lower year-on-year. The LSE duly analysed these figures to see what impact this trend is having on the housing market and if stamp duty land tax is still suitable in its current form.

The report concludes that reform is necessary. LSE Emeritus professor of housing economics Christine Whitehead says: “On the face of it the stamp duty land tax statistics look relatively buoyant – but the underlying trend… is quite clearly downward. Moreover, the low level of transactions by existing owner-occupiers is a disaster for our hopes of a well operating housing market.”

Bogard comments: “We need an urgent re-think on housing policy. The market is gummed up and SDLT is a big reason.”

“At the moment, lack of a good stock of available housing is a massive disincentive to labour and social mobility… government ‘sticking plaster’ solutions to help first time buyers are not a long-term answer. The over 50s need to be encouraged to move and free up property for growing families. Changes to the transaction tax will need a new mindset from all parties – political and home owners.

“One thing is certain, and the analysis of these latest figures carried out by the LSE is clear: the housing market needs to be re-invigorated if our housing system is to work more effectively. It is time for a courageous strategic change in our approach to taxing property.”

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