London Should Keep Stamp Duty to Build Homes, Mayor Says

Sales taxes on houses and apartments in London should be retained by the U.K. capital’s local government to pay for the building of new homes, Mayor Boris Johnson said.

Stamp-duty receipts amounting to 1.3 billion pounds ($2 billion) a year, could be used for a 25-year program to construct 1 million homes in London, Johnson, who’s been mayor since 2008, said in an e-mailed statement today.

“Since I was elected, London’s population has grown by 600,000 and is forecast to rise by a further million at least over the next 25 years,” Johnson said. “If we do not come up with a new plan to build the homes we need, this great city will suffer and the whole country will feel the consequences.”

London home sellers pushed up asking prices by 3.6 percent in January to an average 480,890 pounds, according to property website operator Rightmove Plc. Prices rose 9.7 percent from a year earlier, the biggest annual increase since February 2010, compared with 2.4 percent nationwide.

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