Agency calls for reform to stamp duty.

Chestertons Estate Agency has issued a plea to the Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt to include Stamp Duty reform in his Autumn Statement.

According to Richard Davies, COO of Chestertons, the government should indtroduce an exemption for those looking to downsize to a smaller property to help stimulate the housing market.

He explained: “A stamp duty exemption for downsizers would be a crucial step to help those wanting to move to a smaller property. Each year, we meet countless homeowners who are planning to downsize but, due to the Stamp Duty which can be as much as 12%, are put off to do so. A tax exemption would encourage downsizing which in turn frees up large, under-occupied family homes.”

Davies also wants to see more done to help first-time buyers get a foot on the housing ladder.

He continued: “We hope for the chancellor to announce more support for first-time buyers such as an extension of the Mortgage Guarantee Scheme. With the public facing higher interest rates and the cost of living, however, some aspiring buyers; particularly in the capital; need additional support. As it stands, first-time buyers are exempt from paying stamp duty for any property purchase worth up to £425,000 but with the majority of London homes costing more, we would like the Government to raise this threshold.”

As far as the rental market is concerned, he added: “Tenants have been facing rising rents and limited availability of suitable properties. To bring much needed relief to the lettings market, we would like to see the chancellor reconsider tax incentives for buy-to-let landlords with the aim to boost the number of rental properties. This is particularly needed in London, where the rental market has become increasingly competitive with one single listing attracting numerous tenant applications and viewings.”




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