Stamp duty changes set to boost residential property sales

Chris Papadopoullos
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Recent alterations to stamp duty could put a spring back into the housing market

The newly reformed stamp duty tax is set to boost residential sales, according to a Royal Instit­ution of Chartered Surveyors’ (Rics) market survey released today.

The surveyors are forecasting a sales boost of between two and five per cent.
The reforms ended the so-called slab structure of stamp duty and reduced the tax burden on most housing transactions below £1m, but increased the burden above.
A sales rise is expected despite 15 per cent more surveyors reporting a decline in new buyer enquiries and a fourth consecutive fall in supply to the market.
“The stamp duty reform could reverse the softer trend in buyer enquiries that has been visible in recent months, but a critical issue in terms of how it plays out with prices is whether it also encourages more vendors to consider putting their properties back on to the market,” said Simon Rubinsohn, Rics chief economist.

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