PBR: Abbey disappointed by Stamp Duty decision

Nia Williams

December 9, 2009

The exemption of properties valued between £125,000 and £175,000 from a Stamp Duty tax of 1% came into effect in September 2008. Since the Stamp Duty holiday was introduced, an estimated 132,500 house purchase mortgage transactions have escaped paying the tax, more than a quarter (27%) of the 486,400 house purchase loans in the period, research released by the Council of Mortgage Lenders last month revealed.

Nici Audhlam-Gardiner, director of mortgages at Abbey and Alliance & Leicester, said: “This is disappointing news not only for first-time buyers looking to take their first step onto the property ladder but also for the wider housing market. First-time buyers are the lifeline of the housing market and it’s a shame to see this support come to an end at a time when the wider housing market is still in recovery. First-time buyers currently in the process of buying should make sure they complete their sale before 31 December to save themselves up to £1,750 before the Stamp Duty holiday comes to an end.”

Abbey has also called on the Government to do more to help first-time buyers.

Nici Audhlam-Gardiner said: “A wider shake-up of the current Stamp Duty system is long overdue. We would welcome a permanent increase to the nil rate threshold or at the very least, making Stamp Duty incremental, so it works like income tax. The current slab taxation system is unfair as it means that if a person falls into a higher threshold, even by just a few pounds, they pay the higher rate on the whole amount. This penalises all buyers, but particularly struggling first-time buyers and those in the South East who are more likely to fall into the higher tax band.”

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