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Cash-strapped homebuyers look for stamp duty relief

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Homebuyers are looking to Gordon Brown for relief from the onerous burden of stamp duty that is imposed on them when they make their saving and investment into property.

Spiralling house prices are ensuring that many people are being hit by the higher levels of the tax, which was worth £4.6bn as a UK investment to the Government last year.

“The trouble is that the financial threshold for the tax is not keeping pace with house price inflation,” said Croydon-based surveyor and architect John Collyer.

“Having to start paying it at the now absurdly low level of £125,000 is a blow to many people, and realistically they are paying a lot more as house prices have rocketed over the past 10 years.”

In 1997, when Labour was returned to power, the average house price was £68,000 and the stamp duty threshold £60,000.

Ten years later and the average house price is £188,000, with the stamp duty threshold just £125,000. If the threshold had tracked inflation it would now be £165,000, and the average stamp duty bill is now £1,880.

“You will get nothing for your saving and investment into property around here for £125,000,” said Collyer, “so everyone is being stung by this tax.

“Indeed, most people will be paying at least £275,000, so they have to find an extra £7,500 for their stamp duty.”

He concluded: “Homebuyers deserve a break when they make their saving and investment into their home – and next week Gordon Brown could give them one.”



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