Thoughts from our Property Gurus

Stamp tax changes slowing west prime central london property sales

by Adrian Black, Wednesday 08 July 2015

Based on the back-of-a- match-box-calculation, I estimate that the combined Local Authorities of Kensington and Chelsea, and Westminster account for about 0.5% of the property transactions (in terms of number of properties sold) but a whopping 15% of the residential stamp duty land tax take in the UK. 

Such high transaction taxes will certainly inhibit flow – and that is exactly what we are seeing.  Many home moves are local moves (even though the movers might be of international origin), and may have bought their property some time ago.  Purchase taxes are now so high (a combination of high prices and high transaction tax rates) that fewer moves will happen.  Fewer moves is a bad thing from many perspectives, but especially:

  1.  Lifestyle - as needs and our children's schools change, and

  2. The local economy - as moving stimulates renovation and housing stock improvement.

Good overall economics are driven and supported by healthy flows and certainly not by inhibiting them.  These disproportionate flow-inhibiting property taxes need a rethink.

Stamp Duty, London Estate Agents



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