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Property owners' stamp duty hopes dashed

23 March 2006
Hopes that the chancellor would take heed of the growing chorus of calls for a radical review of the stamp duty regime were dashed in yesterday's budget.

It had been widely hoped that Gordon Brown would do something to address the increasing number of owners of modest homes who are being hit with three per cent bills because their houses are worth more than £250,000.

Research from Halifax published earlier this week showed that the average detached house costs over £250,000 in the south east, south west, west Midlands, East Anglia, north west and London.

In his tenth budget on Wednesday, however, the chancellor made only a marginal adjustment to the stamp duty regime – increasing the bottom threshold for a one per cent liability from £120,000 to £125,000.

Prior to the budget, organisations calling for stamp duty reform included the Council of Mortgage Lenders, Halifax, Nationwide and many other industry bodies.

The chancellor also announced funding worth £970 million to promote shared equity schemes, permitting more first time buyers to get onto the property ladder.

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