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Bradford & Bingley laments stamp duty missed chance

02 December 2004
Today Chancellor Gordon Brown announced plans to create mixed communities in deprived areas to "provide further support for first-time buyers" while delivering his Pre-Budget Report.

But he said nothing about stamp duty.

"The Chancellor has missed a crucial opportunity here to help beleaguered first time buyers by not updating the stamp duty bands to reflect current market conditions," said David Bitner, head of product operations for Bradford & Bingley.

"It was never designed to be a tax on first time buyers, yet it now affects a vast proportion of them and is seriously hampering their ability to get a foothold on the property ladder. The average first time buyer now has to find over £900 to pay this tax, at a time when most are struggling to even fund a deposit.

"With the number of first time buyers entering the market at an historical low, hovering around the 30 per cent mark for most of 2004, compared to 42 per cent in 2001, this is likely to have serious implications for the market as a whole."

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