Such a lot of talk about the so-called ‘Mansion Tax’ proposals set out by Labour at their recent party conference.
For me, it’s ridiculous to be ‘punishing’ those with big houses with big taxes.
Now from that comment, you might think I live in a mansion myself. Well, I’m afraid I have to disappoint you – I live in a 3 bedroom terrace in Hitchin, Hertfordshire, which I bought in 2003. It’s now worth about £320k, and my next jump will be to try and buy a 3 bedroom semi, which will cost me around £450k in my home town of Hitchin where I have grown up – that’s a lot of money, for a 3 bed semi!
It will be hard enough to make that jump when I do decide to move house, but another reason that will make it even more expensive, is the stamp duty. And at the moment, it is leading to me staying put and not even putting my house up for sale.
A mansion tax isn’t going to help me. It isn’t going to help the hundreds of thousands of other people like me, who are in the same position. And it isn’t going to help the economy.
So rather than a political party trying to gain opinion poll ‘points’, maybe they should be looking at the bigger picture regarding tax on properties. And that is that 30-somethings like myself simply cannot afford a £13,500 stamp duty bill on top of my £300,000 mortgage that I am going to have to get, to buy a 3 bedroom semi detached house in Hitchin.
But it’s not just me in the South East. Everyone across England & Wales suffer when they are selling their house. 4 Bedroom detached houses in the North, North West & Midlands are not going for much less than £275,000. And with the stamp duty ramping up at £250,000, this is affecting those young families who are trying to move up the housing ladder.
So let’s forget about the mansion tax. And let’s concentrate on making stamp duty fairer, by increasing it in shorter, sharper bursts.
For me, it will be changes like this to the housing market, that will lead to more people selling their property, a steadying of house prices because of increased supply, and a more sustainable and robust housing market overall.