Half of conveyancers want stamp duty to be scrapped permanently under £500,000

Half of conveyancers want stamp duty to be scrapped permanently under £500,000

Over half of conveyancers want stamp duty on purchases under £500,000 to be scrapped long-term, a snap poll run by Index West Midlands has found.

More than half (51.2%) think scrapping stamp duty will be the best course of action, but a fifth (23.8%) still believe the value banding rates have a place and should return to normal once the stamp duty holiday is scheduled to end.

Some conveyancers think a gradual reintroduction of stamp duty is preferable to an overnight return to the charges if the government sticks to its plan to end the holiday on the 31st March – 14.5% want to see a phased reintroduction over two years, with 10.5% saying a shorter 12-month reintroduction timescale is ideal.

Kate Bould, managing director of Index West Midlands, said: “It’s a relief that House of Commons is set to debate extending the SDLT holiday.

“The future of the property sector and economy depends on it, and our poll confirms that the majority of professionals working in it are against an overnight return to the Stamp Duty tax rates, believing that it should either be scrapped all together or be given a phased return.

“Without a fresh approach to Stamp Duty, the property purchases and sales will slowdown and eventually stall, which will be catastrophic for the property sector and the wider economy.”

Some 56% of conveyancers want to see an extension to the stamp duty, making this their top choice for changes to the conveyancing industry in 2021.

Almost a quarter (24%) want more digitisation across the sector, while 20% want property exchanges and completions to be possible on Saturdays.