Stamp duty is an archaic and anti-aspirational land tax that should be scrapped altogether or at the very least become the responsibility of the seller, says founder and chief executive of eMoov.co.uk, Russell Quirk.
Ahead of the UK Chancellor's first Autumn Budget, Mr Quirk noted that howeownership has remained out of reach for many despite efforts to level the playing field with the abolition of the "traditional slab style system" and the increased tax on high-end, second home or buy-to-let properties.
For Mr Quirk, reducing stamp duty for first-time buyers would be a step in the right direction and act as a "massive shot in the arm" for the sector as a whole.
However, he remains sceptical noting that a reduction might act as a smokescreen, masking the real issue of a lack of affordable property stock and the government's failure to address it.
While lowering the barrier to entry could be helpful, Mr Quirk believes that the issue is an imbalance in the supply and demand for property that continues to keep prices overinflated and out of reach.
He added: "Should Mr Hammond bolster his intent to help readdress this balance with the addition of freeing up unused land owned by various public bodies, he will be showing a real intent to tackle the housing crisis head on and it will no doubt put him on the Christmas card list of first-time buyers across the nation. But as we've seen time after time, a great deal of positive speculation often amounts to little else than just that.”
eMoov is a UK hybrid estate agent and has sold over 5,000 properties since it launched in 2010.
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