The Chancellor has delivered his first and last Autumn Statement without any mention of SDLT.

The industry was hoping to hear of SDLT in potentially three ways and feared hearing it in other ways, so at least for some, no news is good news.

Clearly, there is then no change to the rates of SDLT. This means that the higher rates on residential property, which are patently slowing down the market in certain areas, remain.

It also means that the higher rates (3%) of Stamp Duty Land Tax on purchases of additional residential properties, which came into effect earlier this year (1 April 2016), remain in force. This comes with much disappointment to many (but (admittedly) not all). Certainly it will be disappointing to large scale property investors including – but not exclusively limited to those investing in the built to rent market - who were hoping for a more targeted approach from the government in its commitment to improving the housing situation in Britain by supporting large scale investment.

The open-ended funds, life company investors and certain pension schemes were hoping to have some more help in relation to the SDLT rules around the operation of the seeding relief, particularly in relation to the operation of the potential clawback, announced for property authorised investment funds and authorised contractual schemes which came in with the Finance Act 2016 in September. Again nothing was announced. It is understood that lobbying on this will continue given the importance of the position commercially.