Wednesday 2 March 2016 9:39 am

UK house prices: Stamp duty changes should be linked to carbon emissions - Think tank PolicyExchange

A leading think tank has called for homebuyers who choose properties that perform poorly on energy efficiency to pay more stamp duty.

Under the proposal by London-based Policy Exchange, a £220,000 house with a poor energy efficiency rating would see stamp duty rise 30 per cent from £1,900 to £2,470. However, those buying an energy efficient home of the same value would enjoy a £500 reduction in stamp duty.

Policy Exchange argues the move will push consumer interest towards energy efficiency and encourage homeowners to spend more money insulating their properties. It estimates as many as 270,000 households a year could be encouraged to undertake such improvements based on the policy.

"By reducing the transaction costs and increasing the mortgage available for a more energy efficient home, the government could nudge people into making improvements to the efficiency of their home, which would not only add a premium to their property but would also reduce their energy bills, Richard Howard, head of environment and energy at Policy Exchange and author of the report, said.

The think tank said the reforms should be gradually phased in and that the adjustment in stamp duty would be no more or less than £2,500, regardless of the value of the property.