The Daily Telegraph blames stamp duty reforms for slowing down the housing market and, in a November 2016 article, has called on Chancellor Philip Hammond to address the issue in the autumn statement due this Wednesday, November 23.
The Telegraph says that the stamp duty reforms launched two years ago were expected to raise £700m for the Exchequer, but have falling short of this total by £370m. It is also claimed that there has been a reduction in the number of people selling homes and this has cost almost £1bn to the economy in both lost house sales and reduced demand for services such as renovations and removals.
The changes introduced by the last chancellor, George Osborne, altered the stamp duty rates. Houses under £125,000 attract no stamp duty, those valued at between £125,001 and £250,000 have a 2% rate, and those between £250,001 and £925,000 are charged at 5%.
Stamp duty is then doubled to 10% for homes between £926,000 and £1.5m, with a 12% rate above £1.5 million.
The Telegraph’s campaign focuses on homes worth more than £1m, which have seen the largest stamp duty increases. The consultancy Oxford Economics has blamed the higher stamp duty for reducing sales of these homes by an estimated 1,950 in 2015. It is also claimed that indirectly this has led to a loss of 14,000 jobs.
Though standard and commercial mortgage interest rates are low, according to The Telegraph, buyers are put off purchasing property that costs over £1m by the increased stamp duty.