Edging ever closer to the impending General Election, the concern and fears within the property industry continue to fester as the decision of a Mansion Tax remains unknown.
Andrew Ellinas, Director of Central and North West London agency Sandfords, has previously voiced his beliefs that imposing such a tax will prove to be complex and manifestly unfair, particularly for homeowners in London, and now speaks out again as the dispute continues on.
The Centre for Policy Studies has just released a Mansion Tax Paper highlighting important flaws with the proposal and its impact on the property industry and the wider economy. Andrew wholly supports the papers claims that it’s an unfair, complex, uncertain and an inefficient wealth tax, and hopes that such documents help in diminishing any case for the introduction of this tax.
He responds: “There have always been fundamental issues with Labour’s proposed Mansion Tax, many of which have been widely discussed within both the industry and media, including the fact that defining a ‘mansion’ would be impossible, and we now find ourselves in a position where Labour’s arguments for such a tax are being significantly undermined.
Additional funds have already been raised following recent reforms to the taxation system, an additional £1 billion since 2009, as indicated in the CPS paper, and this alone raises questions as why we would require a Mansion Tax with evidence that it wouldn’t actually really increase revenues.
My other main contention is the risks it could impose on our capital city where the majority of affected properties would be, and subsequently the wider economy. London has established itself around the world as a safe and thriving place to invest in property with international interest continuing to grow at a rapid pace.
Presenting such a measure could make the prime central London market one that is considerably less desirable and one that overseas investors fear to enter. This is one possible outcome that the elected government have to remember, take into account and avoid at all costs.
“In summary, this only just scratches the surface on this political matter but it does seem that there is such a case against the introduction of a Mansion Tax that parties must take notice in order to keep the long term prospects for the London property market looking excellent.”
Sandfords specialise in the sale, rental and acquisition of prime residential property in Central and North West London, most notable, in the Regent’s Park, Marylebone, St John’s Wood, Primrose Hill and Little Venice areas.
Sandfords was founded in 1985 by Andrew Ellinas, who used his mother’s maiden name on the letterhead.
The company initially served the Highgate area, but an introduction to James Light prompted a new partnership and a move to Regent’s Park. The new office opened in 1994. Expansion was rapid and Sandfords soon gained a reputation as the agents with the best local contacts and expertise.
Sandfords soon saw the logic of expanding south of the Marylebone Road, and in 2006 Tim Fairweather joined the firm to open the Marylebone office.
The firm has been at the forefront of the technological changes that have swept the property sector. Andrew, something of a geek, personally installed the firm’s first computer network, at a time when networks were the preserve of big corporations, and he wrote Sandfords’ first website.
The site was a dynamic websites that could be updated on the fly, one of the first for any estate agent in the UK.
Sandfords were founder shareholders in Primelocation.com, the pioneering property website, and are shareholders in Fabric, the top north London property magazine.