Stamp duty tax debate would ‘serve a useful role’

The abolition of stamp duty for many first-time buyers should trigger a wider debate about how best to tax property, according to RICS chief economist Simon Rubinsohn.

“It will serve a useful role,” he said.

“It remains to be seen whether the scrapping of stamp duty for first time buyers announced in the Budget will provide much of a lift for the market. There was not much evidence of this in the latest RICS survey, which was conducted after the change in policy, and while most independent analysis casts doubt on whether there will be much follow through, it is still early days.”

Chancellor Philip Hammond recently announced that new buyers purchasing a home of up to £300,000 no longer have to pay stamp duty owing to changes made in last month's Budget.

Alongside the abolition of stamp duty for sub-£300,000 homes bought by first-time buyers, properties costing up to £500,000 now have no stamp duty paid on the first £300,000 by new buyers.

Chancellor Philip Hammond said this meant 95% of first-time buyers would see stamp duty cut, while 80% would pay none at all.

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