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  • SDLT first time buyers: newspaper proposal is lunacy

    2 March 2017

    Andy Wood

    SDLT first time buyers: proposal to help first time buyers is lunacy

    Whilst enjoying a rather nice breakfast in my hotel this morning I found myself thumbing through the Times. However, when I got to page 20 I saw an article which left me struggling to grasp where such a ridiculous proposal could ever see the light of day

    The ‘new proposals’ – and it should be said they appear to have limited substance – suggest that where there is a first time buyer then the SDLT should be paid by the vendor. Clearly, this would not go down too well with the vendor. It would seem to me that vendors would be reluctant to sell to first time buyers as the cost of their sale would materially increase.

    The proposal seems to be mooted by the Yorkshire Building Society with comment also from Conservative MP John Stevenson. The Building Society suggesting that transactions would increase by 16,000 in the first year of change

    Mr Stevenson states that the current system ‘penalises first time buyers and those aspiring to move up the housing ladder‘.

    Perhaps therefore this is a more general transfer that the seller of the property pays a transfer tax rather than the purchaser. This would, of course, be music to the ears of property investors!

    But this can’t be right either. This would result in someone downsizing – or moving in to rental accommodation or nursing care – having to stump up the tax.

    Let’s hope that these proposals do not pop up at the Budget next week. In the meantime, I will return to my breakfast after first wiping up the scrambled egg I have spluttered over the table.


    If you or your clients have any queries relating to SDLT first time buyers, stamp duty generally or any property taxes then please do not hesitate to get in touch