May 30, 2013
Stamp Duty choking the market
Stamp duty choking the housing market
A report by the Homeowners Alliance has found that the average cost of stamp duty has risen 10-fold since 1995, from £532 to £5,957. The increase is seven times higher than the rate of inflation and almost five times more than the rise in house prices over the same period. The campaign group has found that the housing market is being “choked” by the levy, which has become a major source of revenue for the Treasury. It is urging an overhaul of the system, including stamp duty thresholds being raised annually in line with house price increases and first-time buyers being exempt from paying any stamp duty. If stamp duty thresholds had risen in line with house price rises in recent decades, the £250,000 threshold would now be more than £600,000 and the £500,000 threshold would have been lifted to £1.2m, the group said. The report found that the highest stamp duty was typically paid in London at £17,529, while the lowest was in the North East at £1,466 on average.