Chancellor under mounting pressure to address SDLT

Chancellor Philip Hammond is facing ever-increasing pressure to address Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) in next week’s Autumn Budget, amid concerns that activity in Britain’s property market is slowing.

A report published by Aldermore Bank in recent days suggests that a large proportion of first-time buyers would be more likely to pursue the purchase of their first home if the Chancellor considered a temporary ‘Stamp Duty holiday’.

It adds that existing homeowners – many of whom Aldermore Bank claims are put off moving due to the costs of SDLT – would also accelerate their moving plans if this was the case.

In total, the study – which quizzed more than 1,400 Britons – suggests that around 30 per cent would be very keen to take advantage of a ‘Stamp Duty holiday’.

A further fifth (22 per cent) of existing homeowners who have brought property in the last three years added that they ‘would consider’ moving if SDLT was temporarily cut.

But Aldermore Bank is not the only organisation to have called on the Chancellor for SDLT reform this week.

Prominent lender Santander Mortgages has also urged Mr Hammond to consider immediate changes to SDLT, after a report from the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) highlighted the scale of the impact of the tax on Britain’s property market.

Its research estimated that an additional 146,000 property transactions would have taken place between June 2012 and June 2017 if movers and homebuyers had not been deterred by high SDLT costs.

A three per cent additional SDLT surcharge, which was introduced in April 2016 and is now payable on second or ‘additional’ property purchases, has faced particular criticism at the hands of many property bodies.

Santander Mortgages has said that the UK’s existing SDLT regime is “stifling” the market, while Aldermore Bank has said that property tax should be “at the top of the Government’s agenda in next week’s Budget.”

Whether or not Mr Hammond will address SDLT as part of his announcements, however, remains yet to be seen.