Spokesman Jonathan Haward said:
“We are in support of this proposed tax increase for several reasons, but we would appeal for an amnesty period of 12 months before its introduction to allow second home owners to put their properties on the market.
“This will have two clear consequences. It will help make the market more liquid at a time when property sales have shrunk from 1.2million in 2007 to around 600,000 today. More properties will bring more choice and help the improving market recover more quickly.
“It will also free up properties for local people in traditional places like Cornwall, Devon, Wales and the Cotswolds, where absentee owners contribute to the closure of schools, pubs and local businesses.”
County Homesearch believes unused second homes are detrimental to communities if they are left empty and un-let for much of the year. An introduction of a 40% CGT on sales of second homes will encourage people to invest for the long term and that can be positive for the local community.
In other comment on the proposed uplift, James Hyman, Partner for Residential Sales at Cluttons, said:
“The forecast 22% uplift in capital gains tax to 40% could give the London market the supply it has been crying out for over the last 18 months. Many second homeowners and investors will see that this as an opportunity to come out of the market for the short term. Even if they were to hold onto the properties for any increase in value over the next 3 or 4 years, this increase is unlikely to surpass the rise in what they will have to repay to the treasury in tax.
“The increase in stock will be greatly appreciated in Central London and will help address the desperate need for property for sale within certain parts of the capital.”
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