Retired homeowners left ‘trapped’ by stamp duty tax, claims expert – ‘need a new formula’


Stamp Duty Land Tax, which was introduced in 1694, is a property transaction tax that has to be paid on any property which is purchased for more than £125,000. Last year saw Chancellor Rishi Sunak introduce a stamp duty holiday in July 2020. The holiday was due to end on March 31, 2021 but was then extended until June 30 with a transition period – where the rate was slowly reduced – being implemented between July 1 and September 30.

Guy Gittins, CEO of London and international residential property specialist, Chestertons exclusively told he “really hopes” there are property tax changes in 2022.

Mr Gittins thinks this would help the “whole of the UK market”.

He explained: “For me, if anything could show the Government that the current stamp duty regime is preventing normal people from being able to buy a property that they want to live in, it’s the incredible surge in activity that they saw during the period when the stamp duty holiday was in place.

“That stamp duty saving even at high levels was up to £15,000.

“Across the whole of the UK, millions of retired people are essentially trapped in their property.

“The stamp duty cost when they decide to move from their large four or five bedroom house which they now have no use for, to a three-bedroom smaller house or apartment that’s more in-keeping with their needs just swallows up the entire move.

“So what do they do? They just decide to sit still.

“That absolutely happens across the UK.”

The property expert said the Government “needs to come up with a new formula”.

He added: “We are all holding our breath waiting for the tax changes to come in. We just hope they’re not too punitive.

“We hope that it doesn’t clog up the property market and, if anything, it should release the property market rather than slow it down.

“Adding more tax onto an already very high tax regime I think would be the wrong move.”

Chestertons is a London and international residential property specialist.

The company has one of the biggest network of branches in London, with 31 sites across the capital as far reaching as Richmond all the way over to Islington, Kensington and Knightsbridge.


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