Should home sellers pay stamp duty?

Surveying_Blog_PostWould changing the rules around stamp duty fees help younger people get onto the property ladder?

There has been so much noise around what could or should be done to help first time buyers across the UK buy their own property. The most recent is, that stamp duty should be paid by house sellers, not buyers.

One of Britain’s largest mortgage lenders, The Yorkshire Building Society have stepped up and asked the government to consider a reform to the already unpopular tax, making it payable by the people selling their house instead of those wishing to buy it.

Stamp duty is currently paid by anyone buying a property, it was reformed two years ago, making it cheaper to buy a property worth less than £937,000.

A surcharge introduced in April this year added 3% to these rates for anyone buying an extra property. The Yorkshire Building Society claims that making a seller pay the same rates would increase the number of transactions and therefore help young people to buy their first home.

First time buyers could save on average around £3,791, which would help them buy a property 15 months earlier, based on someone who was saving £250 a month. The Yorkshire Building Society have submitted this plan to the government in time for the Autumn statement which is due in November.

This may not solve every cause of the housing crisis, but reforming stamp duty could ease it’s effect by making homes more affordable.