“Hideously expensive” SDLT deterring homeowners from downsizing

Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) is “causing a bottleneck in the family homes market” by deterring homeowners from either downsizing or taking the next step up the property ladder, according to a new report.

The comments, which come from online estate agents OwnerSellers, follow an in-house study which revealed that the cost of downsizing from an average detached home worth £381,211 to a small two-bedroom apartment valued at £268,174 would chime in at around £17,843.

OwnerSellers says that in this situation, downsizers would need to pay SDLT to the tune of almost £6,000, coupled with estate agent fees of more than £8,000.

Meanwhile, downsizers in London would inevitably be hit with far higher costs, reports suggest.

OwnerSellers estimates that the average downsizer making a similar move in Britain’s capital would be hit with £17,141 in SDLT.

Rupert Cattell, OwnerSellers CEO, said: “Stamp Duty still presents a major cost, particularly for those living in London, South East and East of England, and continues to deter people from downsizing.

“Estate agency fees and Stamp Duty combine to make downsizing hideously expensive and this is even before you start adding in other key costs such as surveys, removal fees and, legal fees.

“This is causing a bottleneck in the family homes market, preventing growing families from taking the next step up the property ladder and fuelling the [overall] imbalance in the market”.

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