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Tories plan stamp duty hike for foreign property buyers

(Photo: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images).
(Photo: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images).

THE Conservative party has planned to raise stamp duty on non-UK nationals who buy properties in Britain.

Foreigners are expected to be forced to remit an additional three per cent in stamp duty, if the Tories win the elections scheduled for next month.

Party leaders said that the hike in duty will support the local people to move on in the British property market ladder without getting hit by rising home prices in the country.

The British government has already been planning a one per cent hike for foreign property buyers.

As of now, the same stamp duty rates are applicable for the UK residents and foreigners, including companies in Britain.

However, property analysts have raised concerns about properties being bought as investments and standing empty, especially in London.

According to studies, 13 per cent of homes in London were bought by non-UK citizens between 2014 and 2016.

A research by the King’s College Business School stated that the outsiders did not just push up prices at the high-end of the property market, but there was a trickle down effect to less expensive properties.

Towns outside London also felt the trickle down effect.

The Conservatives have declared measures to support first-time buyers and boost private house building.

They have also promised a million homes over the next five years.

The Conservative government announced a consultation for a one per cent levy on stamp duty for buyers from outside the UK in February.

The party is now proposing a surcharge of three per cent, to be paid in addition to all other stamp duty charges.

According to the party’s estimate, the measure will affect about 70,000 transactions a year.

It will also raise £120 million, which is to be pumped in for tackling rough sleeping.

The main political parties have come out with competing proposals to address the UK’s housing shortage ahead of the December 12 general elections.