Khan to fight against 3% levy

Sadiq Khan has vowed to fight for build-to-rent (BTR) developers to be exempt from the 3% stamp duty surcharge on second homes introduced under George Osborne.

In the mayor’s draft London housing strategy released this week, the Greater London Authority (GLA) said that the levy had created a “substantial additional cost burden for the sector, [which] is still in its infancy”.

It said Khan would “lobby government to exempt BTR from the 3% SDLT surcharge” in order to level the playing field with mainstream construction for market sale.

Leading BTR firms including Grainger, Fizzy Living, M&G Real Estate and LaSalle called for such an exemption as part of Property Week’s Call Off Duty campaign earlier this year. Many developers and investors have said the tax makes funding BTR projects more expensive, affects the end value of schemes and has led to fewer rental homes being built.

In the housing strategy document, the GLA also signalled a more interventionist approach to building homes. It said that it would introduce a team of ‘dealmakers’ to deploy a £250m fund for buying and preparing development sites, partly through the use of compulsory purchase orders.

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