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Rush to beat stamp duty deadline

Rush to beat stamp duty deadline

Category: Mortgages

Updated: 12/02/2010
First Published: 12/02/2010

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.
A last minute rush to take advantage of the stamp duty holiday saw the number of loans to first time buyers hit a two-year high in December.

The latest figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) showed that 55% of house purchase loans during December were on properties costing under £175,000 and therefore exempt from stamp duty, up from 51% in November.

Meanwhile, 10,300 first time buyers and 11,200 home movers bought a property of between £125,000 and £175,000 in December, up 63% and 49% respectively from November.

Home buyers within this price bracket who failed to complete their purchase before January now face having to pay an additional 1% of the purchase price as a consequence of the stamp duty holiday drawing to a close.

A temporary stamp duty threshold of £175,000 was introduced in September 2008 as the Government attempted to prop up the floundering property market.

However, the concession came to an end at the end of 2009, with the usual level of £125,000 coming back into effect.

"The stamp duty holiday has been a source of respite for beleaguered buyers who have been trying to achieve something that should be available to as many people as possible - to own their own homes," said Peter Bolton-King, chief executive of the National Association of Estate Agents.

"These new figures confirm what our agents have been telling us - the buyers are out there but they just cannot get that first foot on the property ladder because of the amount of money required up front."

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