New research from Market Financial Solutions has revealed the housing market policies most in demand by UK homeowners, with improved standards for rental properties and higher taxes for holiday lets making the top three.
The specialist lender commissioned a survey of 1,323 UK adults who own a residential property in the UK. It found that 71% of homeowners are in favour of raising the minimum quality standards for rental properties, making it the best-supported potential policy reform.
Introducing controls (or higher taxes) on holiday lets or second homes in tourist hotspots came in at second (67%).
In third place is scrapping inheritance tax for properties passed on after someone’s death (63%).
Elsewhere, after housebuilding targets were softened to ‘advisory’ in December 2022, MFS’s research reveals that 48% of homeowners believe ‘mandatory’ targets should be re-introduced, while 58% support reforming the planning system to make development more straightforward.
On the topic of stamp duty land tax (SDLT), 65% agree that non-UK residents should pay more, but 60% said SDLT should be removed on properties that have been derelict for more than a year.
Homeowners were given a list of potential property policy reforms and asked to say whether they were ‘in favour’ or ‘opposed’ to the policy. Here are the results in full:
1: Raising the minimum quality standards for rental properties (71% said they are ‘in favour’)
2: Introducing controls (or higher taxes) on holiday lets or second homes in tourist hotspots (67%)
3: Higher stamp duty taxes to be paid by non-UK residents (65%)
4: Scrapping inheritance tax for properties passed on after someone’s death (63%)
5: Removing stamp duty for the purchase of any property that has been derelict for 12 months or longer (60%)
6: Higher stamp duty taxes to be paid by landlords / those buying second homes (59%)
7: Reforming the planning system to make housing development more straightforward (58%)
8: Introducing another stamp duty holiday for the next 12 months to help the property market amidst the cost-of-living crisis (49%)
9: Re-introducing mandatory house building targets (48%)
10: Scrapping the current stamp duty land tax in favour of annual taxes based on the value of land people own (34%)
11: Making stamp duty payable by the seller, not the buyer (23%)
Paresh Raja, CEO of MFS, said: “In recent weeks, we have seen political parties begin to posture on housing policy. Battle lines are now being drawn ahead of next year’s general election, and already there is a sense both parties will put forward some more radical policies to solving the housing crisis. Our research provides timely insight into how they can win the hearts and minds of homeowners.
“Clearly, housebuilding and taxation are key areas that homeowners would like the government to focus on for reform, so these will likely be critical topics of discussion on which Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer will try to win votes in the coming weeks and months. No doubt homeowners, homebuyers and lenders will watch on keenly as policies concerning the property market evolve and the build-up to the election intensifies.”