Some 47% support the extra charge which was introduced on second homes and buy to let properties on 01 April while 18% are against it and believe that it supports first time buyers.
The results of the poll, conducted by YouGov for the HomeOwners Alliance and BLP Insurance shows that overall concerns about stamp duty have fallen dramatically since the reforms in 2014.
In 2014, some 64% of UK adults believed that stamp duty was a serious problem but in 2016 that has fallen to 52%.
Supporters of the stamp duty surcharge on second homes believe the measures are a good way to level the playing field between those buying a home to live in and those making an investment purchase.
‘The buy to let market is slowly destroying the overall housing market and making affordable properties less available for those wanting to own a home as their principal place of residence,’ said one survey respondent.
The research also found that some feel there has been a shortage of homes available for first time buyers and this will make it harder for buy to let investors competing to purchase similar properties.
Indeed it found that there are some anti buy to let feelings, a sense that buy to let may have been inflating house prices and pricing out local residents in some areas. Some also feel that those able to afford to buy a second home or to buy a property for the purpose of letting it out and making profit should be able to afford to pay higher stamp duty on their purchase.
Those who oppose the stamp duty surcharge on second homes suggest the policy could have unintended consequences such as the surcharge being passed on to tenants in the form of higher rent. Comments also indicate that they feel the government is making another tax grab or that the policy is anti-enterprise.
‘I have been saving for five years to be able to afford to purchase an investment property. This change has now meant that it is not feasible for me to do so. It is unfair to penalise people who work hard and save,’ said another respondent.
Paula Higgins, chief executive of the HomeOwners Alliance, thinks that the British public believe that homes are for living in and not speculating with. ‘The stamp duty surcharge might be bad for landlords but it will allow more young people to realise their dream of owning the roof over their head,’ she said.
‘This is why we initially called for the tax system to differentiate between aspiring homeowners and property investors. However, we must see the money raised ploughed back into building more affordable housing,’ she added.
According to Kim Vernau, chief executive officer of BLP Insurance, there is a dichotomy in the UK housing market between being able to afford to buy or rent a home. ‘The current government policy in respect of stamp duty is clearly supporting first time buyers to access the market, which is a positive,’ she said.
‘The downside is the fact that this impacts adversely on those who cannot afford to raise a deposit and have to rent. The increase in stamp duty land tax will deter both individuals and, equally importantly, institutional investors from investing in the provision of long term rental properties, which are needed to help unlock the housing crisis we are experiencing. There needs to be a balance, not least as rental investments will also support the affordable housing sector,’ she added.
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