Mr Hammond, Sir, a multiplicity of businesses and property owners are suffering from the ineptitude of your predecessor and his ‘shock and awe’ SDLT hikes which have served to greatly distort the Capital’s Residential Property Markets in all sectors.
By exciting the markets in the lower prices, the vulnerable first time buyers have been further disenfranchised and the markets in the higher value ranges have been rendered stagnant and illiquid, with a 70% reduction in transactions. This has caused a needless DIY recession in this sector, resulting in less Stamp Duty Receipts for your Treasury.
As property values drop, debt balloons in relation to it and everyone suffers as a result, particularly the lending institutions whose loan to value ratios go awry.
This is a lose, lose scenario and I would urge you to take the courageous decision by dropping the higher rate of Stamp Duty from 12/15% by 3%.
If I can’t persuade you to do this, would you at least consider legislating for both purchaser and vendor to split the Stamp Duty between them? Although this is a ‘slight of the hand’ method at least the purchaser will feel that under this arrangement, since the Stamp Duty Tax has been effectively halved, this could be the very stimulus that the market requires.
The Treasury benefits from every property transaction that takes place and therefore if these measures increase liquidity and reduce the property stock over-hang, you would be ‘quid’s in mate!’
‘Bite the bullet’ and do the right thing, and you never know you could become a hero!