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 A tax too far? Monitoring the impact of Stamp Duty Land Tax

In October 2017 we carried out research, in conjunction with the London School of Economics, looking at the effects of Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) on the housing market and the wider economy, and its impact on household behaviour.


Our latest report – A tax too far? Monitoring the impact of SDLT (July 2018), based on figures published by HMRC on 31 July 2018, shows that receipts for SDLT have fallen in Q2 2018, compared to the same quarter in 2017.


We believe the Government needs to urgently re-think its housing policy. 

A real change is needed.



Download the report here
    (Other than Brexit) there are four issues that all and any politician would have at the top of their agenda: #money #productivity #housing #transport

    Politicians need money to get things done; they need our economic productivity to increase, so that tax receipts go up; people need suitable, affordable homes in appropriate locations; and, for both business and pleasure, we need to be able to get about efficiently and effectively.

    SDLT has been the golden goose – with revenues rising year on year. In financial year 2017/18 it brought in some £9.3billion from residential transactions, more than double the take in 2011/12. 

    However the revenue figures released on 31 July were 13% below the same quarter last year continuing a downward trend that became obvious earlier in the year. The last thing the government needs. 

    The amount raised is obviously dependent on SDLT rates, the price of homes and the number of transactions. It is the number of transactions that is key to this – and the numbers of transactions among existing owners remain at near historic lows. 

    SDLT is the easiest tax to avoid. You just don’t move. 

    The trouble is that people not moving affects the balance of the housing market and the best use of the housing stock. Old people may not downsize to avoid SDLT, so they live in a family house when the family has long since moved out; people end up commuting longer distances for a new job rather than moving to avoid SDLT; and families with new babies may end up crammed in to avoid SDLT. 

    The housing market is further distorted by the help for first time buyers. The Help to Buy scheme, and the SDLT exemption for most first time buyers, put added pressure on this end of the market, whilst the rest of the market is clogged up by SDLT.

    With SDLT receipts starting to fall (and likely to continue to do so year on year) and the existing market silted up, it is time for government to review and revise its approach to SDLT.  This will help the housing market overall, so that it does not continue to be a drag on economic growth, social mobility and the transport network. People moving also has direct economic benefits. 

    Time to think about something really important other than Brexit!


Family Building Society
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30 Church Street
Surrey KT17 4NL
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