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Property Experts Demand Change on Stamp Duty

Industry heavyweights have added their support to the 1808 Coalition, set up by the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) and the Association of Residential Lettings Agents (ARLA) to campaign for the Government to modernise Stamp Duty.

1808 Coalition partners are:

• Association of Mortgage Intermediaries (AMI)

• Association of Residential Lettings Agents (ARLA)

• Building Societies Association (BSA)

• Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML)

• Home Builders Federation (HBF)

• National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA)

• National Landlords Association (NLA)

Peter Bolton-King, Chief Executive of the NAEA, said: “The Coalition believes that Stamp Duty is an anachronistic tax which, in its current form, is preventing a recovery in the housing sector – it limits market flexibility, creates regional inequality and its slab structure unfairly distorts the housing market. With the Pre Budget Report due soon, now is the time for the Government to take action.”

The current Stamp Duty “holiday” for properties lower than £175.000 is due to expire at the start of 2010 but in a recent survey by the NAEA, 91 per cent of estate agents surveyed felt that it should be extended. 86 per cent of those surveyed felt that the tax is unfair.

Ian Potter, Operations Manager of ARLA said: “Not only does Stamp Duty prevent those aspiring to own a home from doing so, it also impacts the whole property chain. For ARLA members, this means having to pay Stamp Duty on the bulk price of a portfolio, when individual buy-to-let investors pay a lower rate on the single unit price.”

Robert Sinclair, Director of the AMI, said: “It is rare that the breadth of our industry comes together with such consensus on an issue. But the current Stamp Duty regime is distorting the market to such an extent that we feel compelled to speak out. The Association of Mortgage Intermediaries is fully committed to supporting this industry campaign to reform the regime. We implore the Government to not only listen but, to act in support of our request for change to this damaging tax.”

John Stewart, HBF’s Director of Economic Affairs, said: “It is imperative that the first signs of market stabilisation that have emerged in recent months, and which have allowed home builders to begin tentatively opening new sites and expanding output and employment, are nurtured. The Government’s stimulus measures for housing, including the raised stamp duty threshold, have played a significant part in this stabilisation and it is vital that they are not removed at this still fragile stage, either in total or in part.”

Adrian Coles, Director General, BSA, said: "The current Stamp Duty system in the UK is archaic and in desperate need of reform and modernisation. A fairer and transparent system is needed that doesn't discriminate against young and first time home buyers, and promotes an effective housing market."

Michael Coogan, Director General, CML, said: “We urge the government to announce a comprehensive and long-overdue review of Stamp Duty. Reform is needed of a tax that distorts the housing market.”

David Salusbury, Chairman, NLA, said: “Stamp Duty Land Tax is a pernicious tax which has failed to keep pace with house price appreciation. It creates an unbalanced housing market and discourages investment in housing. Reform is needed now.”

Anyone wishing to register comments on the campaign, or on Stamp Duty, should visit:

Editor Notes
About The 1808 Coalition:

The 1808 coalition campaign to reform Stamp Duty is named after the year Stamp Duty was first extended to property sales in Great Britain. According to The 1808 coalition, the Government should abolish Stamp Duty outright, or implement one of the alternatives:

• Suspending Stamp Duty for the duration of the housing downturn, with a commitment to review the existing system • Reforming the system moving from the distorting ‘slab’ system to a more progressive ‘slice’ system or progressive system which, like other taxes, is index-linked to inflation

• Raising the starting threshold for this tax well above the current £175,000 limit to ensure that as much is done as possible to assist first time buyers into the market.

For further information contact:


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