SDLT biggest burden to property sector growth, says study

Growth in the UK’s property and construction sector is buckling under the burden of Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT), according to new research.

A comprehensive survey of UK property businesses has found that more than half believe that SDLT is unfavourable to developers and investors in the sector.

A further 54 per cent said that they thought SDLT, a point of contention in recent years, has now become the biggest barrier to their growth.

SDLT ranked higher than post-Referendum uncertainty – with 48 per cent of respondents pointing towards Brexit as growth barrier in comparison.

A further 12 per cent said that they felt threatened by capital gains tax (CGT) – and almost half added that they expected house prices to fall over the next six months.

The statistics come several months after former Chancellor George Osborne imposed a three per cent SDLT surcharge upon the purchase of second homes – which, alongside other reforms, has been much criticised since its introduction.

New data from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has revealed that Treasury receipts from SDLT have decreased by 2.5 per cent in the 2015/16 financial year.

According to HMRC’s figures, more than half of all SDLT revenue was generated from transactions valued at £1million or more, while 46 per cent of all SDLT receipts came from transactions in the City of London.

The news follows further tax increases imposed upon such transactions in 2014.

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