Peter Rollings commenting on stamp duty penalties for poorly-insulated homes
Fri 23 Jul 2010
"Forcing buyers to make their homes more energy efficient or risk stamp duty penalties is the wrong policy idea at the wrong time. In certain areas of the country, such a measure would lead to reduced demand for particular types of property and put off some buyers, such as first timers, who are less likely to have the funds necessary to carry out extensive energy-saving alterations to their homes. The property market recovery is still fragile in many parts of the UK and it would be very unwise to put a further obstacle in the path of home buyers, many of whom already face severe difficulties in accessing mortgage finance. Far better would be to insist that all new build homes make full use of energy efficient measures such as ground source heat pumps and solar powered hot water to name but two."Three-quarters of properties in London were built before 1965, when the first energy efficiency requirements were introduced into Building Regulations. Naturally, these properties were not designed with low carbon emissions in mind and there are limits to what changes can be made sensitively in many cases. Even for properties that are not listed or in a conservation area, it would be difficult to justify ripping out original sash windows and installing uPVC replacements. However, demand for period properties in the capital is exceptionally high and it is unlikely that interest from buyers would drop off should these plans ever see the light of day."
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