Investors give budget their stamp of approval

Investors give budget their stamp of approval


The government’s announcement of the new budget caused a wave of controversy last week, but its planned reformation of Stamp Duty has been somewhat better received.

Stamp Duty is currently calculated by the bulk value of the properties. However, following last week’s announcements the rate of Stamp Duty on purchases of multiple residential properties will now be calculated using the mean value, rather than the aggregate value of the properties purchased.

Lucy Barrett, Director at W&B Mortgage Solutions Ltd, said: “The government’s decision to reform Stamp Duty for bulk residential property purchases is going to be well received. If investors can keep their transaction costs down then they will be encouraged to make further investment which will also give the private rental market a needed boost. 

“Although this adds some flexibility for investors, Stamp Duty Land Tax still requires change to encourage not just bulk purchasers, but individual transactions too, and the increase in use of tax mitigation schemes we are seeing is testament to this as people have become increasingly frustrated with the current structure which, in some cases, results in huge additional costs when buying a home or investment property.”

These changes are set to encourage investment by reducing the costs associated with acquiring property. The Stamp Duty reforms will be particularly beneficial to property investors and landlords and should help boost the supply of private rented housing.

The Chancellor, George Osborne, told the Financial Times that he expects the changes to reduce a barrier to investment in residential property.

Adrian Coles, director general of the Building Societies Association, told the Financial Times: “We look forward to the outcomes of the government’s review of stamp duty for first-time buyers in the autumn.

“However the government should address the overall fundamental flaws of stamp duty.”

Rob Lankey, Managing Director of Commercial Mortgages at Aldermore, believes that the overall Stamp Duty system is still in need of reform and there was no announcement that this is going to happen imminently.

He said: “The current 'slab' system of charging Stamp Duty causes property price bunching just below the threshold points, which is not helpful. Many in the industry, including myself, believe the Stamp Duty system needs to be overhauled.”

Duncan Kreeger, Chairman of West One, also felt that the Stamp Duty changes were insufficient.

 “Our initial review of the new Stamp Duty Land Tax rules seems to indicate the Government has over complicated matters, however we acknowledge any government initiative to re-energise the property market,” he said.

He added: “We do believe that these reforms will encourage investment in residential property. It is inevitable that some people will adapt quickly to the new rules and take advantage of the oppurtunities announced in the budget.”

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