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Will stamp duty reform be on the Autumn Budget agenda?

By Maurice Shasha  //  Thu 2nd November 2017
The Autumn Budget is scheduled for 22nd November 2017. We wait to see whether or not stamp duty reform be on the agenda.
Will stamp duty reform be on the agenda in next month's Autumn Budget?
Stamp duty is generally considered to be a stumbling block for first-time buyers, an impediment which has contributed to a slowing property market. But stamp duty has also impacted buyer activity at the top end of the market. With talk of possible stamp duty reform in next month's Autumn Budget, will Chancellor Philip Hammond make changes?

The National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA Propertymark) is calling for the government to remove the burden of stamp duty for first-time buyers, aiding mobility at the lower end of the market, while also making stamp duty exempt for pensioners, thereby encouraging them to downsize.

The NAEA said: "By making it easier for older people to sell their homes, it will free up family-sized homes for the next generation and boost housing supply."

There have also been calls to transfer the burden of paying stamp duty from buyers onto vendors. This would boost buyer activity and get the market at all levels moving while ensuring the government still receives revenue from stamp duty.

Since stamp duty increases took hold, including the extra 3% surcharge on holiday and second homes, the number of property transactions in central London in particular have fallen. A general reduction in the level of tax would surely help to boost market activity across the board.

The Chancellor has announced that the Autumn Budget 2017 will be published on 22nd November, so we'll wait to hear if stamp duty receives a mention.

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