A tax on new houses
SIR – Stamp duty (report, August 15) is just one of many obstacles to solving Britain’s housing crisis.
I have a track record in refurbishing derelict housing, converting disused retail space into residential properties and dividing large dwellings into flats. I am now interested in converting more unoccupied shops into houses and in build-to-rent on disused brownfield sites in market towns. Capital gains tax (CGT) prevents me from doing any of this. I should be able to raise the capital from the sale of 10 flats and six houses, but CGT would take about a quarter of the proceeds.
Every property sale would be an opportunity for a first-time buyer; would result in work for estate agents, solicitors and surveyors and tradespeople; and would, of course, result in stamp duty where applicable. Matthew Sands