2 Sep

Darling announces stamp duty suspension

Darling announces stamp duty suspension

Stamp duty on homes worth less than £175,000 is to be suspended for a year, chancellor of the exchequer Alistair Darling has said.

With effect from tomorrow the charge will only be levied on homes above this figure, changing from the current £125,000 at which the lowest band of tax is applicable.

The news comes after weeks of speculation about the government's plans to help the housing market, following an admission from Mr Darling that he was considering various measures and confirmation by housing minister Caroline Flint in a BBC Newsnight interview that stamp duty could be involved in this, although she insisted no decision would be made before the pre-budget statement in November.

Such a move may boost the housing market in the short term with buyers no longer waiting until November for news on the charge before making purchases.

The Chartered Institute of Housing welcomed the news by saying it welcomed the "clarity" the decision provided.

Housebuilder Persimmon Homes said the move would provide "much-needed financial relief" for first-time buyers.

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