The housing market does seem to be a bit stuffed just at the moment. This is not ideal, particularly if one is trying to sell one’s house in order to buy something bigger with your girlfriend and wife-to-be. So wouldn’t it be great if the pressure could be released; if they could find some way to gently bring the cost of buying a house down?

I have absolutely no idea if this is feasible but what if they could introduce differential stamp duty. If they lowered the stamp duty for first-time buyers/owner-occupiers, but then whacked it up second-homes and buy-to-lets (levying a windfall tax on existing properties – possibly in a staged introduction) then might it not be possible to: a) make the cost of buying your first home cheaper, and b) releasing said homes onto the market through owners who want to avoid the windfall tax, selling their homes into a market that is most-attractive and affordable to first-time buyers.

Would this work? Or am I failing to understand the basic principles of business (as usual)?