RICS demands overhaul of housing taxes to encourage downsizing and help first-time buyers

The RICS is calling on an overhaul of housing taxes, including changes to Stamp Duty.

The RICS said that housing taxes are ‘outdated’ and need reform to help older people downsize and younger ones get on the housing ladder.

This morning’s call for action follows the RICS’s usual monthly house price survey, where this time extra questions were asked about taxes and the difficulties young people have in becoming first-time buyers.

Nearly half of the estate agency surveyors who responded suggested tax incentives to encourage downsizing.

One suggestion was that people who had moved out of larger homes to buy smaller properties should be exempt from having to pay Stamp Duty.

Another possibility would be scrapping Stamp Duty altogether and adjusting Council Tax rates to make up for lost revenue.

This would take the tax burden away from the transactional phase and on to occupation, freeing up funds in the buying process.

RICS policy manager Abdul Choudhury said the Government should understake a full-scale review of the Stamp Duty system.

Respondents to the RICS’s latest survey also called for Help to Buy to be extended beyond the current 2021 deadline, but only for first-time buyers.

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One Comment

  1. 40yearvetran08

    It is ridiculous that someone who has enjoyed 40 years of growth in property value can sell and not pay any tax whilst the person buying it has to pay tax based on the increased value of it. Stamp duty should be a sellers tax and paid on every transaction irrespective of sale price and at the same %. Alternatively it should be paid annually as an increase on council tax with a number of additional bands to deal with the disparity on the top band. At the moment in London a house worth £1.5 m could be in the same band as one worth £20m.

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