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Twice as many support stamp duty surcharge than oppose

Twice as many support stamp duty surcharge as oppose, despite loud opposition from landlord groups, our 2016 HomeOwners Survey reveals.

More than twice as many people support stamp duty surcharge than oppose it

  • Policy seen to support first-time buyers and homes for living in 
  • Those in the South West, where there is a real shortage of affordable homes, are most in favour, with 6 in 10 (59%) supporting the change
  • Concerns over stamp duty have fallen dramatically since the government reform of the system in 2014
  • In 2014, two-thirds of UK adults (64%) said stamp duty was a serious problem, compared to half of UK adults (52%) in 2016
  • Surcharge could also drive up rents as properties for rent become more scarce

On the 1st of April, the government introduced a new 3% stamp duty surcharge to be paid by those buying buy-to let properties and second homes, and was met by loud opposition from landlord groups. 

When asked whether they support or oppose the policy, more than twice as many people support stamp duty surcharge on second homes as oppose it, according to the 2016 Homeowner Survey conducted by YouGov for HomeOwners Alliance and BLP Insurance.

47% of UK adults support stamp duty surcharge, while 18% oppose it and the rest are neutral (20%) or don’t know (15%)

support stamp duty surcharge graph

Those who support stamp duty surcharge on second homes believe the measures are a good way to level the playing field between those buying a home to live in and those making an investment purchase.

  • “The buy-to-let market is slowly destroying the overall housing market and making affordable properties less available for those wanting to own a home as their principal place of residence.”

Some feel there has been a shortage of homes available for first-time buyers and this will make it harder for buy-to-let investors competing to purchase similar properties.

  • “First time buyers should be buying these properties. People only need one home to live in.”

There are some anti buy-to-let feelings – a sense that buy-to-let may have been inflating house prices and pricing out local residents in some areas.

  • “Buy-to-let are pricing people out of where they were brought up, so anything to make it fairer for them I support.”

Some also feel that those able to afford to buy a second home or to buy a property for the purpose of letting it out and making profit should be able to afford to pay higher stamp duty on their purchase.

  • “If you can afford to buy another property, you can afford to pay tax on it.”

Those who oppose the stamp duty surcharge on second homes suggest the policy could have unintended consequences such as the surcharge being passed on to tenants in the form of higher rent.

  • I own buy-to-let properties as part of my retirement plan. I am a celebrated good landlord. The Chancellor has taken me and others like me as an easy target and hit me with different taxes in this last budget, which can only lead to an increase in rents for the poorer people who need to save for their own homes. The usual short term politics that have implications beyond the headline news.”

Comments also indicate that they feel the government is making another tax grab or that the policy is anti-enterprise.

  • “I have been saving for some time (5 years) to be able to afford to purchase an investment property. This change has now meant that it is not feasible for me to do so. It is unfair to penalise people who work hard and save.”

Stamp duty reforms introduced at the end of 2014 which replaced the slab structure of tax with a progressive stamp duty tax were also well-received with one third (33%) saying the reforms make buying their first home or moving up the ladder more affordable according to the 2015 Homeowner Survey.

Concern over stamp duty has also subsided substantially. The annual survey, which tracks top housing concerns, found in March 2014, that two-thirds UK adults (64%) said stamp duty was a serious problem, whereas two years on, only half (52%) say stamp duty is a serious problem (down 12%).


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