This has hit first-timers particularly hard as many need to borrow more than the value of their homes to cover moving costs and Stamp Duty.
Pundits predict a fall in housing market activity this year as tightened access to credit hits first-timers, but reduced their involvement with the market is in nobody’s interest. Abolishing Stamp Duty for them would shore up the industry.
Chancellor Alistair Darling cannot ignore the effect the liquidity crisis has had on first-timers’ ability to borrow.
He must act now to resuscitate the housing market. If first-timers were given a break from Stamp Duty, the costs involved in purchasing homes would fall dramatically. He must give them relief and raise the tax’s threshold to £250,000.