Search Acumen comments on Stamp Duty reforms

Search AcumenAndy Sommerville, Director of Search Acumen, comments on today’s Stamp Duty reforms announced in the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s Growth Plan Statement:

“Reforming Stamp Duty to increase the thresholds where tax applies looks like a tacit admission the housing affordability crisis isn’t going to improve any time soon. The Government seems to have concluded it’s easier to raise tax limits than reduce the gap between house prices and wages, given we’re nearing the point where the average home will soon cost the equivalent of ten people’s annual salaries.

“The reality is that positioning Stamp Duty changes as a tax-cut for hard-working people will land awkwardly on the desks of conveyancers who’ve barely had time to recover from the post-pandemic property boom brought on by the last reforms.

“That Stamp Duty ‘holiday’ was nothing of the sort for property professionals left struggling to turn the rusty wheels of the traditional homebuying processes. One year on, these latest reforms only scratch the surface of the modernisation and digital transformation needed to put the housing market on a stronger long-term footing.

“With virtually no warning, legal property firms will need to adjust once again to a new Stamp Duty regime without losing sight of the digitisation drive that’s underway across the market, with the AP1 transition deadline that’s fast approaching in November.”


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