Following on from my recent blog regarding Scottish Government proposals to change SDLT in 2015, I have been interested to hear, as the March budget approaches, the increasing calls on the Chancellor to amend Stamp Duty. As well as RICS we have also recently had the National Association of Estate Agents issuing a statement, calling on the Chancellor to make the supply of homes and mobility in the property market a major theme for this year’s budget. This chimes very much with my own feelings in relation to the social and economic benefits that are derived from assisting people to get on the property market. Whilst I have some concerns regarding the proposed changes from the Scottish Government to SDLT, I do agree that the slab structure of Stamp Duty requires to be amended to make it a more progressive tax. I also feel that the levels at which the Stamp Duty rate kicks in, and thereafter changes, should also be amended to reflect the increased prices in the property market and also assist the mobility of people to get onto the housing ladder.
With this point in mind I was very pleased to hear an innovative approach from the Halifax who are offering to pay Stamp Duty for a first time buyer as part of one of their first time buyer products.Lindsay Darroch Partner & Head of Property