Sellers should pay for stamp duty not buyers says Kent developer

SELLERS of homes should be the ones to pay stamp duty, a Kent developer has argued, as the Government announced a cut in the tax.

Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng raised the payment threshold from £125,000 to £250,000 (£425,000 for first-time buyers) as part of the government’s plan to boost economic growth.

While the news will be welcomed by house buyers, a Kent-based developer says rather than cut the tax, it should ‘flipped’.

Chris Hammond, director of Beau Property, said: “While a stamp-duty cut may get the market moving in the short term, realistically there needs to be a more structural change to facilitate more affordability flowing through the system.

“We would argue – flipping the normal approach on its head – that sellers should pay stamp duty instead of buyers because that would make it easier for people struggling to go up the chain, while down sizers that are more cash rich would more easily be able to afford to pay it.

“In addition, we believe there should be a reduction in stamp duty for new or refurbished homes which are carbon efficient which would create an incentive for all stakeholders to both build and buy green.”
Other experts believe a stamp duty cut could do ‘more harm than good’.

Sarah Coles, a senior personal finance analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said stimulating housing market demand could push house prices up further, at a time when the supply of available homes is already tight.

Ms Coles said: “You can see why the Government is concerned about the housing market, because there’s a risk that rising mortgage rates and rising prices will dampen buyer enthusiasm. We know from recent experience that a stamp duty holiday effectively stimulates demand.”

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