From City AM:
A new report has suggested billionaires may simply rent prime properties, rather than buying them - and potentially save millions of pounds.
The figures, by Tunstall Property, suggest that for most buyers of ultra-expensive homes, following reforms to the stamp duty by the chancellor last year, it would take about three years' rental payments just to may off the stamp duty.
The shift to renting is only backed up by anecdotal evidence, but it seems perfectly plausible to me. Even in the normal world, SDLT discourages people from buying and selling, so when owner-occupiers decide to move, high SDLT makes it more likely that will retain their old home and rent it out instead of selling it.
On the other hand, Osborne came up with some half-baked plan to make people who were buying to let pay higher SDLT.
That might tip the balance back towards owner-occupation ever so slightly, but, as we see from the first example, if you want to encourage owner-occupation, it is just as important to reduce SDLT for owner-occupiers (from current levels) rather than increase it for landlords. Or indeed you could go on the safe side and do both.
Wednesday, 20 January 2016
From City AM:
My latest blogpost: Stamp Duty Land Tax - intended or unintended consequences?Tweet this! Posted by Mark Wadsworth at 08:20