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Chancellor needs to perform some U-turns and get creative with SDLT

Ahead of the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement on 22 November 2023, Brendan Sharkey, construction and real estate specialist at MHA, says the government should reverse its policies on EPCs and interest rate relief for buy-to-let properties.

Sharkey commented: “To get the housing market moving the government should scrap Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) for first-time buyers and those looking to downsize to a smaller property. This would give first-time buyers an incentive to enter the expensive property market at a slightly cheaper price. It would also allow those looking to downsize to move into smaller homes, saving money on higher mortgage payments and energy costs. As a result, the housing market would have a new supply of larger properties better suited to families rather than couples.”

He added: “Scrapping the EPC targets in the overhaul of net zero targets was a mistake on Rishi Sunak’s part. To ensure residential homes become energy efficient, the government should require a minimum EPC “C” rating for all residential sales. This will mean that when a property is sold the impact of any necessary works will be quantified and considered in the price and funding.”

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