“We hoped today would be the day” – experts disappointed by lack of Stamp Duty reform in Autumn Statement

Following an Autumn Statement that touched on all areas of the economy, property professionals have been left disappointed by the Chancellor’s silence on proposed Stamp Duty reform.

In fact, according to results from a poll conducted by The Intermediary ahead of the Autumn Statement, over 58% of respondents believed the Chancellor would set out changes to Stamp Duty in his address to Parliament.

Only 33.3% said “No”, while a further 8.3% were unsure.

In light of this inaction, industry experts have been sharing their reactions.

Jonathan Stinton, head of intermediary relationships at Coventry Building Society, said: “We hoped today would be the day, but it looks like we’ll be waiting until at least March for the long-awaited Stamp Duty announcement.

“It’s clear that one way or another Stamp Duty changes are on the horizon – the Chancellor can either orchestrate the change through a considered reform, or he can ignore it and let the temporary relief lapse.

“Let’s hope it’s not the latter, because that choice would see homebuyers paying an extra £2,500 on an average priced home, come March 2025.”

Nick Leeming, chairman of Jackson-Stops, added: “The Chancellor’s muted actions today while not a hindrance to the housing market are definitely not the helping hand that many hoped for.

“Expectations of possible announcements on support for first-time buyers, cuts to Stamp Duty for downsizers and Inheritance Tax reliefs were all notably absent.

“This provides an important platform for the new Housing Minister, the second in less than a year, to make a difference to the property sector and not miss future opportunities to back the market and offer a vote of confidence to buyers and sellers.

“The Chancellor’s acknowledgement of our failing planning system sets the stage for the Housing Minister to extend reform to the residential sector to boost much needed supply.

“Irrespective of the Chancellor’s omissions today the housing market has continued to show resilience in house prices this year with falls far more subtle than many had expected, but further measures that stimulate growth and ensure this trend remains stable for the long-term will always be welcomed by the industry.”

Sebastian Murphy, group director at JLM Mortgage Network, concluded: “This Autumn Statement presented the Government with an opportunity to really move the dial on housing market activity, and to introduce some fresh incentives to get people moving and buying.

“This was an open goal that the Chancellor appears to have missed spectacularly – we have called for a stamp duty holiday for older homeowners who want to downsize but are put off by the large amount of taxation they would need to pay, but nothing of the kind has been proposed.

“Such a measure would encourage older, single people to move into more suitable accommodation while freeing up larger, family homes for those who are moving up the ladder and want these types of properties in order to meet the needs of their families.

“Getting the right people into the right homes would help a large number of people who feel they can’t move at the moment.

“We need greater levels of supply desperately but a proposal which might allow homes to be split into two flats seems a retrograde measure which doesn’t tackle the types of homes people need or want to buy.