It was an interesting idea – and sounded great for first-time buyers. On Saturday, Sajid Javid appeared to be considering switching the cost of stamp duty land tax (SDLT) from the buyer to the seller in England and Northern Ireland. On Sunday, in a tweet, he made it clear that he did not support the idea. So in rejecting this, was the chancellor acting as a friend or foe of the first-time buyer? It is difficult to get on the property ladder. First you have to find cash to pay the deposit and then, not only do you have to pay for the property (with the help of a mortgage), you have to find further cash to pay the SDLT. If you are trading up, you hopefully have some equity that you can release to help pay the SDLT – but as a first-time buyer, you have to find all the money yourself. So why not have the seller pay the SDLT? They save the SDLT they would have paid on their new property (which would probably have been more if they were trading up), and will have access to cash. The likely result of any changes is that property… Read full this story
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