Ahead of the Chancellor’s Spring Budget announcement on 8 March, Mark Sismey-Durrant, Chief Executive Officer at Hampshire Trust Bank, calls for a review of stamp duty to stimulate the housing market and help first time buyers on to the property ladder.

“It is clear that the progressive increases in stamp duty have had a distorting effect on demand in the housing market, particularly impacting transactions in certain higher value parts of the market. We believe that it should be better targeted to support an efficient housing market and stimulate sales activity. According to recent data from RICS, while house prices continue to rise, transaction volumes remain fairly flat. We believe that a reduction in stamp duty could encourage more people to upscale and therefore help enable first time buyers to get on to the property ladder. An increase in transactions will generate more revenue, it will also give people a helping hand towards home-ownership, a key objective for the government.

“At the same time, in order to help address the housing crisis, we must improve supply through building more homes of the right type in the right locations and at an affordable cost. Specialist lending banks, such as Hampshire Trust Bank, supply essential finance into the experienced SME house builders who supply smaller developments throughout the UK, but who have been neglected by the traditional banks. We would like to see the Chancellor unlock this market by addressing the choking effect of the current stamp duty regime.”

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