Rumours that SDLT cut may feature in this week’s Budget

Rumours are mounting that this week’s Budget could see the Chancellor, Philip Hammond, unveil a temporary cut in Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT).

The news comes after a series of reports published in recent weeks revealed the true scope of SDLT’s impact on Britain’s residential property market.

Research published by the London School of Economics and the Family Building Society last week found that SDLT was deterring many homeowners from moving.

In particular, the report – which quizzed homeowners and prospective first-time buyers – found that many of those looking to ‘downsize’ were afraid to do so due to the associated SDLT costs.

The report also found that high SDLT costs were preventing many prospective first-time buyers from purchasing their first home without the financial support of their parents or grandparents.

The study echoes separate research published by Aldermore Bank earlier this month – which found that 22 per cent of homeowners ‘would consider’ moving if SDLT was temporarily cut, while a similar number of first-time buyers would be ‘more likely’ to pursue the purchase of their first-home under such circumstances.

Around the same time, another damning report published by Santander Mortgages 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.

Following the publication of the research, Mr Hammond is facing increasing pressure to consider a so-called ‘Stamp Duty holiday’ ahead of Wednesday’s Budget announcements, in a bid to encourage greater activity in the market.

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Nigel is the Managing Partner and Head of Litigation and Dispute Resolution in the London office of Mackrell Turner Garrett.