A proposed half a percent increase in this stamp duty has been labelled as damaging to an already fragile property market – as the rise could result in people having to pay as much as £850 more than they would have done otherwise and, unless they take steps to improve how their new property uses energy by spending £15,000, it could be unlikely that a person would get this surcharge back.
The Government is under pressure to cut dangerous emissions into the atmosphere by a third of the levels seen 20 years ago – but analysts in the housing sector have labelled this particular approach as impractical and deceptive to buyers who might have been investing in a house with an F or G energy rating. To be exempt from the cost of this rise in stamp duty, it has been suggested that a homeowner’s property must be at least an E to qualify.
Two-thirds of homes across the country are more than 45 years old, which means that they might not have been built with energy efficiency completely in mind. As those on low incomes and those starting out in property ownership are likely to be the owners of these older properties, it is believed that those who are the most financially susceptible could be affected by the plans.
It could be said that those with larger properties that a higher value could benefit from the rebates the most – as it would be proportional to the amount of stamp duty they would pay.
Steve Thomas, from an estate agency that operates across Surrey and London commented that buyers would have to “stump up for both the tax and the upgrades”, in a move deemed as “madness”. Generally, the response to this idea has not been encouraging.