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Overseas buyers could face 3% stamp duty surcharge

The Conservative Party has pledged to charge overseas buyers a stamp duty surcharge of 3% – much to the surprise of the property industry.

A year ago it was proposed that foreign buyers would be charged an extra 1%.

Vadim Toader, founder and chief executive of Proportunity, a fintech start up offering Help to Buy-style loans, is not a fan of the proposal.

He said: “Foreign buyers aren’t to blame for the UK’s housing mess and slapping extra stamp duty on their transactions risks hitting the London market especially at a time when we should be opening up to overseas investment.”

Milton Rodosthenous, director of online auction service LetsBid Property, said it would benefit domestic buyers but could have negative implications for the higher end of the housing market.

He said: “The Conservatives’ plans to levy a 3% stamp duty surcharge for non-UK tax residents will receive a mixed response from the property industry. However, most people will agree that it is a surprise to see the additional stamp duty increased to 3% from the initial 1% proposed over a year ago.

“Additional stamp duty for overseas investors will represent a positive change for domestic buyers as there may be less competition for homes and price growth for certain types of properties could plateau.

“That said, a policy like this could have implications for the high-end of the housing market, particularly in London.

“Any market problems caused by additional stamp duty for overseas buyers could be alleviated by wider stamp duty reform, details of which are currently lacking in depth.”