Stamp duty puts homeowners off moving

Nearly one in three homeowners who are not planning to move would be more likely to do so if stamp duty costs were cut further, a survey has found

Around three in five (59%) homeowners surveyed for said they plan to snub moving up the housing ladder amid the current economic uncertainty in favour of making home improvements.

Some 31% of these people said high house prices had put them off moving – while 31% also admitted they would be encouraged to move if there was a significant cut in stamp duty.

The way stamp duty is charged on a property has already recently undergone an overhaul, which made it cheaper for the majority of homeowners liable to pay it. In Scotland, stamp duty has been replaced with the land and buildings transaction tax.

But according to the average cost of stamp duty still stands at more than £3,500, rising to more than £16,700 in London.

Some 38% of people who planned to make improvements said they were doing so to increase the value of their property.

According to calculations from, adding an extra bedroom to a property could increase its value by £18,826, based on average house prices, while a loft conversion could add an extra £15,189 and an extra bathroom £13,050.

A new kitchen could add around £12,408 to the value of an average home, while a conservatory could add £10,696 and a landscaped garden £7,701.

Gemma Sonfield, head of home insurance at, said: “The huge growth in house prices since 2009, which has seen the average price go from just over £150,000 in June 2009 to nearly £214,000 in June 2016, makes it difficult for many people to make the move they’d ideally want and, for a lot of would-be movers, stamp duty is the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

“With nearly four in ten homeowners saying that they would undertake home improvements specifically to increase the value of their home, ‘improve before you move’ is becoming an important tactic for climbing the housing ladder.”
More than 2,500 home owners took part in the survey.

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Written by: Houseladder