Call for re-think on Stamp Duty tax hike

It’s not too late for a re-think about proposed Stamp Duty hikes on second homes.

Finals details of the controversial scheme – to introduce higher rates of 3% of Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) on purchases of additional residential properties – are due to be announced in March’s Budget.

Our landlords in Hampshire and West Sussex, and the wider property industry, have serious concerns about the proposals.

Although we welcome the Government’s commitment to supporting affordable housing and home ownership, the SDLT proposals could prove counterproductive.

The changes will deter new landlords from entering the market and make becoming a landlord much less financially viable.

Far from helping first time buyers into their dream home, the SDLT could keep first them in rented accommodation for longer and at more expense, further widening the affordability gap.

Others who could feel an impact include parents trying to help their children onto the first rung of the property ladder by acting as guarantors on mortgages.

We support the concerns shown by our landlords, ARLA and by the wider private rented sector in urging the Government to seriously consider this impact of this tax before the Budget.

The new rate is due to come into force on April 1 after final details are announced in the Budget on March 16.

Earlier this month, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) reported a surge in number of buy to let transactions as buyer seeks to complete deals before April 1.

It said in its latest UK Residential Market Survey that some existing landlords may look to gradually scale back their portfolios or leave the market completely.

We are a member of the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) and Residential Landlords Association (RLA), which have been raising concerns with the Government.