Stamp duty stems flow of FTBs

Posted: 09 Jul 2007 10:25:08 GMT


            Property News - Stamp duty stems flow of FTBs

It is becoming harder for first-time buyers (FTBs) to get onto the property ladder as increasing house prices lead to more people paying stamp duty.

It is becoming harder for first-time buyers (FTBs) to get onto the property ladder as increasing house prices lead to more people paying stamp duty.

New research shows that the average FTB is forced to fork out £1,458 in stamp duty, compared to nearly zero in 1997.

The figures from think-tank Policy Exchange have led to criticism of the government and fears that it is becoming more difficult for us to sell our homes as there are fewer new buyers.

Prime minister Gordon Brown has been attacked for failing to keep up with house prices when increasing the stamp duty threshold.

In 1997, when he was chancellor of the exchequer, Mr Brown more than doubled the threshold from £60,000 to £125,000 but has since allowed property prices to soar without making further changes.

"It is a normal human aspiration to want to own your own home, but that is now all but impossible for a large number of young people," said Oliver Marc Hartwich, chief economist at Policy Exchange.

"The main reason is soaring house prices, but the government has made it even more difficult for first-time buyers by presiding over a regime of rising stamp duty."

The Treasury has defended itself by saying that almost half of all FTBs will not pay stamp duty in 2007/08.

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