As builder unveils record profits

Cala boss calls for change to homebuying tax

Brunswick Road CalaCala Homes chief executive Alan Brown says tax imposed on high value homes is causing a blockage in the market.

Mr Brown said top of the market home owners are having more difficulty selling because buyers are put off by the levels of tax.

This is frustrating those who want to downsize as much as helping others to step up, and it affects the whole market.

“If people cannot move out of bigger properties then it has a trickle down affect,” he said.

He would like the UK and Scottish governments to review stamp duty in England and land and buildings transaction tax in Scotland.

He said: “Our concern is around the second-hand market and getting it moving. We cater to the downsizing market and they are finding it challenging to put their home on the market because of the high levels of duty.

“It affects the whole housing market indirectly.

“Stamp duty [and LBTT] is a huge amount of money to pay for what David Cameron called hard-working families, and it’s a disincentive for them to move in both the second hand and new build markets.”

In Scotland, stamp duty was replaced by the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax which has come in for criticism as the higher bands kick in at lower prices. The government says this reflects different values north and south of the border.

Mr Brown wants stamp duty addressed in the Autumn Statement and further action to quicken planning consents.

His comments came as the government unveiled a £5 billion package of measures to release more public land and encourage more builders into the market.

Cala today reported an 18% rise in annual pre-tax profits to a record £60.1 million on a 15% increase in revenue to £587.1m.

It is focused at the top of the market in affluent areas of the Midlands, Scotland, and around the M25.

The firm’s average selling price in England is £639,000, against the Scottish  average of £476,000.

The company said fewer homes were selling for more than £1.25m. These make up 5% of sales, and the company said it would build fewer in this market.


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