Thursday, 8 May 2014

Readers' Letters Of The Day

Both from today's Evening Standard (page 57):

MY wife and I hope one day to move to NW5. While we could never afford the £2.5 million price tag on Ed Miliband's Dartmouth park residence, I agree with him that its valuation is driven by lack of supply. This needs to be addressed by achievable means: new housebuilding can only do so much where urban land is limited.

Like the Milibands, my wife and I were in the privileged position of both owning a London home prior to our marriage. The problem with selling these to buy our dream is the cost associated with moving: £100,000 in stamp duty, agents' and legal fees. Barriers to moving could be reduced and supply increased by scrapping stamp duty. The lost revenue would be recouped with a bump in council tax for all.

Increasing the annual cost of ownership in this way would create an incentive for home owners to rent out their unused space - not only a handful of foreign investors but all those living in large London homes.

Surely it's reasonable for them to pay the social costs of their living choices?

Timothy Wiffen, SW11.

WHEN house prices rose at over £1,000 last year, the impact of doubling council tax for a Band D home as a means of tackling enmpty properties will be minimal.

The fact that council tax on meag-buck mansions is barely more than that on a Band D home also needs addressing.

David Reed.