Budget 2014: Stamp Duty neglect frustrates industry

Prior to the Budget many industry figures had been calling for more widespread reforms as stamp duty has frequently been cited as out of date and unfair to first-time buyers.

In his speech the Chancellor announced the closure of a stamp duty loophole by charging those buying through companies 15% stamp duty tax on properties above £500,000.

Mark Hayward, managing director of National Association of Estate Agents, said: “As we stated in our call to government, stamp duty requires people to part with thousands of pounds up front and in its current 'slab structure'.

“It distorts the UK housing market, acts as a barrier to first-time buyers and therefore restricts the demand to build new homes.”

Around 930% more transactions took place between £240,000 and £250,000 than between £250,000 and £260,000, London Central Portfolio recently revealed.

Mark Graves, director of Pink Network, added: “The key area that the Chancellor missed out was the opportunity to reform stamp duty.

“While this is no huge surprise, the sale of houses in certain price bands will continue to be hampered and distorted until the stamp duty slab scheme is tapered or abolished.”

Ray Boulger, senior technical manager of John Charcol, was also unsurprised and disappointed in equal measure.

He said: “Whilst I think they should have made some changes, I wasn’t expecting them to do so.

“It is a bit disappointing. I thought there was a better chance this year that we would get change.”

Andrew Montlake, founder and communications director at Coreco, summed up the view of the industry on Twitter.

He said: “Disappointing that Stamp Duty was again sidelined - opportunity missed yet again.”