Housing market hampered by stamp duty, says study

The Chancellor is being placed under increasing pressure to reduce stamp duty tax, as the tax has blocked around 45,000 house sales this year.

A new study produced by the Centre for Economics and Business Research has revealed that the tax has had an impact on a range of house buyers, including home movers and first time buyers. The number of home sales has doubled over the last five years. The Autumn Budget statement is expected to include a temporary reprieve for first time buyers to help them buy a home, although buying any property of substantial value is unlikely to be beneficial under the temporary move.

The Daily Telegraph has campaigned for the reduction of stamp duty tax to help families, while also providing a boost for the economy. Experts recently commented that the value of homes to benefit from a tax-free purchase is likely to be capped at £250,000, while properties in London are likely to be capped at £450,000. According to the report, if stamp duty had been abolished, a further 146,000 property transactions would have occurred since 2012.

The Chief Executive of the HomeOwners Alliance, Paula Higgins, said that cuts to stamp duty would help thousands of people currently renting to get onto the property ladder. Higgins added that prevention of abuse of the system would have to be considered, and a cap levied at about the same rate as with the Help to Buy scheme.

Borrowers still need to ensure they find the cheapest mortgage, requiring the expertise of a CeMAP qualified mortgage advisor.


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