24 August 2018

Buying agent Black Brick has expressed the hope that the Chancellor reduces Stamp Duty rates, warning that the property tax and Brexit have put buyers off purchasing second properties and may also be deterring foreign investors.

Black Brick has revealed that all of its transactions this year have been for primary homes.

In comparison, the buying agent says half its deals were for main residences last year, while they represented just a quarter in 2016.

Camilla Dell, managing partner at Black Brick, blamed this shift on the additional Stamp Duty charges and Brexit uncertainty.

She said: “This complete shift in people buying second homes is a direct result of Stamp Duty and the additional 3% in tax people now have to spend on a second home or a buy-to-let.

“The consistent rise in the number of our clients purchasing primary indicates that clients are no longer buying for investment, or for discretionary second home reasons. They are buying to live here and choosing London as their home so they are close to work and London’s excellent schooling options.”

Dell said Chancellor Philip Hammond should take note of falling Stamp Duty receipts.

She said: “This is the first time there has been real evidence that supports the notion that higher tax rates do not lead to increased tax take.

“Whilst Stamp Duty remains a political hot potato, we can only hope that Hammond takes note of these figures and looks to reduce the rates at some point in the future.”

Dell also suggested that foreign buyers were staying away until after Brexit, revealing that two thirds of its clients are from the UK, up from 50%.

She added: “Looking to the second half of 2018, we expect the number of UK buyers to continue to rise. Those who don’t need to move are choosing to wait until after Brexit, and this is particularly true for international buyers.”

Marc Shoffman