25 Nov

Homeowners 'rushing to buy' before stamp duty rise

Homeowners 'rushing to buy' before stamp duty rise

Figures released by moneysupermarket.com have revealed that homeowners are rushing to purchase new properties before the stamp duty holiday ends on December 31st.

The website reported that searches for properties under £175,000 - the current threshold for stamp duty - have increased by nine per cent since September.

Hannah-Mercedes Skenfield, mortgages channel manager at moneysupermarket.com, commented that when the stamp duty holiday ends, many first-time buyers will find it difficult to enter the market.

"When the stamp duty benchmark is pushed back to £125,000 and factoring in the huge cash deposit required by the banks, stepping on to the housing ladder is going to be an impossible leap for many," she said.

Ms Skenfield added that the government should extend the stamp duty threshold indefinitely in order to encourage the continued recovery in the market.

Another idea put forward by the industry is for a regional benchmark system to ensure that those living in high-value areas do not miss out on any stamp duty exemptions.

The £175,000 stamp duty threshold was introduced on September 3rd for a four-month period, however, there have been widespread calls from estate agents and homeowners to increase the level on a permanent basis.
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