Rics slams "derisory" stamp duty gesture

Posted: 23 Mar 2006 10:56:40 GMT

            Property News - Rics slams "derisory" stamp duty gesture

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) has wasted no time in berating the government for its decision to raise the stamp duty threshold by only £5,000.

In his Budget speech yesterday, chancellor Gordon Brown revealed that the threshold will now be £125,000, but it is a gesture that Rics has described as "derisory" and a "squandered opportunity".

Rising house prices across the country have led many experts to suggest in recent months that the £120,000 figure is simply anachronistic. With this in mind, many have welcomed the attempt to address the issue, but the general consensus seems to be that more should have been done.

This seems to be the general message from Nationwide, for instance, with executive director Stuart Bernau suggesting the impact could be minimal.

"The stamp duty announcement is at least a step in the right direction but the size of the increase is disappointing. Taking into account the bunching around the stamp duty thresholds, we estimate only around 30,000 buyers will benefit from this change, which still leaves the average buyer paying stamp duty," he commented.

"Even first-time buyers pay an average of more than £128,000 so will still be hit by this tax."

Affordability is increasingly becoming a problem for buyers across the UK and despite a number of measures aimed at alleviating the burden, it seems that many have been disappointed that the assistance was not more wide-reaching.

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