Propertymark calls for stamp duty surcharge exemption

The government should put in a 12-month exemption to the 3% stamp duty surcharge to boost buy-to-let purchases, according to agency group Propertymark.

This would be one in five measures to boost the health of the housing market, according to the group.

Prime Minister Liz Truss is already said to be keep to cut stamp duty in a bid to encourage property transaction.

Liz Truss stamp duty cut sparks negative reaction

Other changes would be:

• Longer-term support for agencies with their energy bills, beyond the six-month package already announced.

• A national strategy with financial incentives to help improve the energy efficiency of existing housing stock to bring down bills.

• Increasing the supply of new housing through focussed targets based on identified need for each tenure across the country and incentives to bring empty homes back into use.

• A review of Local Housing Allowance rates to support tenants on low incomes in the private rented sector.

Timothy Douglas, head of policy and campaigns at Propertymark, said: “In the past year there have been four names over the door of the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and we’ve run out of fingers on which to count the number of Housing Ministers in recent years. This is just one department. We need a period of political stability across Westminster along with bold ideas to address our sector’s many live issues.

“Our members tell us time and time again that they do not have enough homes to sell or rent, this is creating affordability issues particularly in the private rented sector.

“We have a Prime Minister who has committed to a programme of tax cuts and a new Secretary of State for Housing who has already acknowledged the need to build more homes, let’s see a clear and decisive plan of how they intend to turn those words into positive action to stimulate both markets.

“Our plan restates our call for a strategy to retrofit homes with tailored and sustained funding, especially as mortgage providers start to consider EPC ratings in lending criteria. This must not be allowed to stagnate the market.

“It’s also important to remember estate and letting agencies are businesses that make a significant contribution to the economy. They need support to ensure they remain viable, particularly in the light of the high cost of energy and fuel and are left wondering whether the six-month energy price cap will be enough.”

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