Thoughts On Property Bubbles

I was at conference last week and in a policy debate where an amendment about higher stamp duty for properties bought simply for foreign investment was rejected.  The proposer Anood Al-Samerai spoke passionately about the damage that empty homes are causing to the sense of community in her area, just at the time when thousands of families across London cannot afford to buy their own house.  However the amendment was voted down as it would have been very hard to administer ( Who qualifies for the extra stamp duty?  Is it anti investment, anti foreigner?)

This got me thinking about Stamp Duty and the peculiarity of Capital Gains tax exemptions on the property that’s your ‘primary residence’.  Primary Residence Relief is a tax break that most of us enjoy when selling our family home – if the house is where you live and isn’t being used for a business, you don’t pay capital gains tax on any gain you make when you sell the house. Continue reading