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London house prices: Demand for stamp-duty shake-up to boost central London market


Business bosses have added their voices to demands for a shake-up of stamp duty to boost the struggling central London property market.

Colin Stanbridge, chief executive of the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the current system “disproportionately” punished the capital’s home buyers and called for reform in March’s Budget.

Mr Stanbridge said Chancellor Philip Hammond should launch a review of the 12 per cent rate on purchases of £1.5 million introduced by his predecessor George Osborne in December 2014.

It means that a buyer of a £1.6 million family home in London has to pay more than £100,000 in tax before walking through the door.

The rate has been blamed for a dramatic collapse of London house sales, particularly the most expensive neighbourhoods in the  centre. Estate agent Foxtons said yesterday its commission from house sales had slumped from £20 million to £12 million in the last three months of 2016.

Mr Stanbridge said: “One of London Chamber’s primary concerns is that ordinary Londoners can afford to live and work in the capital, helping businesses attract and retain the best talent. 

“The 2014 reforms were introduced in a very different political and economic landscape. Since then we have had a new government and, most crucially, seen a vote to leave the EU.  As a result, the London economy has seen some seen uncertainty. 

“The new £1.5 million-plus bracket, with 12 per cent tax rate, disproportionately impacts London given the profile of property in the capital.”

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