MP suggests stamp duty on sellers

08 June 2007
Transferring the burden of stamp duty from would-be home buyers to home sellers could loosen the grip of affordability constraints on first-time buyers, Labour deputy leadership candidate Peter Hain has suggested.

Affordability barriers to first-time buyers attempting to get onto the housing ladder are a "really big problem", the Northern Ireland secretary told BBC Radio Five Live's 'Simon Mayo' programme.

"There are a lot of young people who cannot buy their own home because it's too expensive or cannot find somewhere to rent," he commented.

A young couple trying to buy their first home in London can face £7,000 in stamp duty on top of the given price of their property, he added.

One possible solution could be considering "whether stamp duty should be put on the seller rather than the buyer", Mr Hain proposed.

"It could make all the difference having to find the deposit, pay the legal fees and so on if that were put on the seller," he went on.

Stamp duty is currently charged at one per cent of the price of a home valued at between £125,000 and £250,000 or three per cent for homes between £250,000 and £500,000, and is paid by the buyer.

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