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Holbrook and Co - Specialists in helping people buy, sell and mortgage property


Experts believe the tax needs to be brought up to date to help both first time buyers and investors. First time buyers at one time, were exempt from stamp duty if purchasing a property costing less than £250,000 but this has now been reduced to £125,000, meaning that almost all first time buyers in London, for example, will pay the tax.
The tax also increased in scale, so the more expensive the house, the more a buyer pays and on top of this those buying a second home, including buy to let landlords, now pay an extra 3% in stamp duty. This is at a time when, despite the Government Help to Buy schemes, first time buyers are still struggling to buy a home with numerous pieces of research showing that saving for a deposit and paying stamp duty are major financial concerns.
Although house price inflation is at its lowest level in four years and beginning to align with inflation, lack of supply and the barrier of stamp duty is still leaving many hopeful first time buyers facing a mountain to climb. Increasing housing supply and addressing the possibility of a stamp duty exemption for first and last time buyers must remain at the top of the Government’s housing agenda.
The benefits of brand new properties make them very attractive to those starting out on the housing ladder, as well as those downsizing after retirement. But the levels of tax for buyers in the top price brackets means that those owners can’t sell, thereby stifling the market. Meanwhile, for first time buyers, it’s another few thousand pounds that they’ve got to find, at the point when they are making the biggest expenditure of their lives.
This means that people often continue to rent when they would rather buy, or they remain stuck in a property which is either too big or too small for them. Several experts have pointed out that lowering the rate of stamp duty is not likely to mean less revenue for the Treasury as an increase in sales will make up for any fall in the money coming in.

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Palmyra Square South
Warrington, Cheshire
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