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The Government has shown that they are willing to make changes to stamp duty to impact on the market, so it is no surprise that many groups see this as a way that further changes can be made to the property market. While there may not be consensus on what needs to happen next in the property market, most people would agree that there needs to be change and RICS are calling for a comprehensive overhaul of housing taxes, which would include stamp duty changes.

RICS have stated that housing taxes are “outdated” and they prevent people from getting on to the property ladder. An area of contention in recent times is the number of elderly people who are willing or keen to downsize their home but are unable to. Making it easier for elderly people to downsize their property will help stimulate the market and could lead to first-time buyers and younger buyers getting on to the property ladder.

Downsizing Could Energise Property Market

The claim from RICS comes on the back of their most recent survey which suggests that close to half of the estate agency surveyors who took part in the survey suggested that a way to incentivise and encourage downsizing would be to offer tax incentives. A suggestion which has already gathered some positivity is the idea that people moving out of a larger sized home to move into a smaller sized home should be exempt from paying the stamp duty.

Another suggestion which arose from the survey was that stamp duty should be scrapped entirely with adjustments to council tax rates being implemented to cover the lost revenue. This move would be seen as a positive step for many as it would remove the tax burden from the property transaction and place it on to owners and occupiers. There is an argument that this action would release funds for the buyer during the buying process, which could make that process easier too.

Help To Buy is also Coming Under Scrutiny

With the Help To Buy scheme being debated at the moment, it was interesting to note that there were calls for the scheme to be extended beyond the 2021 deadline but only to support first-time buyers. Recent findings of Help To Buy assisting people further up the property chain has led many people to re-evaluate the scheme. There is no denying that a lot of good has come from the scheme, but it has perhaps moved away from the stated intentions.

In the light of the recent survey, RICS has called upon the Government to carry out a full-scale review of the Stamp Duty system. There is still a feeling for many in the industry that the only change that would have any impact is the provision of more property, but other changes are far more likely.

No matter what you want to do next in the property market, it makes sense to call on an expert for support. If you are looking for support and guidance, contact Deakin White and we will be more than happy to assist you.

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