Cut stamp duty for homebuyers by increasing it for property speculators
The government should cut stamp duty for homeowners by increasing it for property speculators, buy-to-let landlords and second home buyers, according to a HomeOwners Alliance proposal put to the Chancellor ahead of the Autumn statement. This would in effect create a new “property speculation tax.”
December 2, 2013
People just buying a home to live in should pay less stamp duty than those who are buying properties for other purposes. At present, homebuyers pay exactly the same stamp duty as international property investors and speculators, who also enjoy the reductions in stamp duty for cheaper properties. In London now, two thirds of homes are sold to investors rather than to owner occupiers. Across the UK, homeownership has dropped to the lowest level for nearly a quarter of a century.
“Too often, homeowners have little chance in the property market competing against property investors. The government must use stamp duty to give ordinary homeowners who just want to own the roof over their head a head start against property speculators, buy-to-let landlords and second home buyers. Homes should be for living in, not speculating with. The property speculator tax would help tilt the whole property market in favour of the ordinary homeowner – and it wouldn’t cost the government a penny in lost revenue” said Paula Higgins, Chief Executive of the HomeOwners Alliance.
The HomeOwners Alliance, which is the UK’s only homeowner consumer group, argues in its policy submission that property investors, buy-to-let landlords and those buying second homes should play a flat rate of stamp duty whatever the price of the property. Lower rates of stamp duty for cheaper properties should be reserved for those buying their own home. Capital gains tax already differentiates between a primary residential property and other uses of property, and that differential treatment could be extended to stamp duty.
The policy proposal, called “A Fairer Stamp Duty”, outlines the economic and social rational for a property speculation tax, and has been submitted to the Treasury.
About the HomeOwners Alliance
The HomeOwners Alliance champions the interests of Britain’s homeowners and aspiring homeowners, and provides services they can trust. We are a member-led organisation, acting as the voice of the homeowner in the media, lobbying for the interests of homeowners and aspiring homeowners in government, and campaigning against bad practices in industry.
We directly engage with government and the media by conducting independent research and publishing reports that promote and champion the interests of homeowners. At hoa.org.uk, we provide independent advice for the key moments in owning a home, supported by legal and industry experts.