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Zoopla calls for stamp duty review in Budget

Chancellor Rishi Sunak should review the stamp duty price bands in next week’s Budget on 11 March, said Richard Donnell, director of Research & Insight at Zoopla.

The government has made a number of stamp duty changes in previous Budgets, introducing the 3% stamp duty surcharge in 2016 and cutting stamp duty for first-time buyers on homes worth up to £300,000 in 2017.

Donnell said: “It’s time for the Chancellor to turn his attention to the core housing market and review the price bands and 5% stamp duty rate that covers averaged priced homes across large parts of London and the commuter belt.

“No government wants to cut taxes indiscriminately, particularly when losses could be high. However, any cut to the rate of stamp duty could stimulate much-needed marketed activity in southern England in particular.

“The average home-owner in London and the commuter belt moves every 23 years. Evidence shows that boosting housing sales has a direct economic benefit that far outweighs the impact on tax receipts.

“More housing liquidity supports home moves up and down the market and will boost labour mobility, ease pressure on transport and stimulate spending that can benefit the wider economy.

“At a national level, figures show that price growth since 2015 has pushed 2.7 million homes into the 5% SDLT band for property valued at £250,000 to £925,000.

“With UK house moves stagnating at 1 million annually and SDLT costs adding to the expense of a property transaction, the government needs to look at ways to keep Britain moving.”