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Stamp Duty proposals blocked

A policy devised by the Chancellor for a £1bn cut in stamp duty for some of the most deprived areas in the UK is being blocked by the European Commission.

Gordon Brown had pledged to cut stamp duty entirely on all purchases of commercial property and on house purchases up to £150,000 in 2,000 rundown areas across Britain.

The move, announced in last November&#39s Pre-Budget Report, was designed to encourage buyers to choose homes in cheaper areas, persuade firms to set up and invest in areas blighted by unemployment, and give a boost to first-time buyers.

A year later the European Commission has yet to approve the plan, claiming it is an illegal form of state aid.

In addition, property market experts say that tax relief on properties up to £150,000 has done little to kick-start deprived areas. Treasury figures show that just 16,000 purchasers have applied for relief from stamp duty out of 500,000 transactions a year.


NAMBA/AIFA plan first public outing at Expo

The new association between NAMBA and AIFA will appear in public for the first time at next week&#39s Mortgage Business Expo at London&#39s Olympia, writes Helen McCormick. Members of the National Association of Mortgage Brokers and Advisers steering committee and staff of the Association of Independent Advisers will share a stand at the event. NAMBA […]

House prices rise at fastest-ever rate

House prices are rising by 30.6% a year, the latest Halifax house price index reveals. The figures record price growth of 4.7% for October – the fastest rate ever – and take the average price of a UK home to £122,377. HM Land Registry also confirmed an 18% surge in average prices in the year […]

Yorkshire ready to sign new subsidiary Accord

Yorkshire Building Society has named its new subsidiary Accord Mortgages – an intermediary-only channel to be launched in March 2003. Accord is headed by Linda Will, who takes the role of managing director and previously worked on the society&#39s e-commerce capability. Mark Underhill joins as commercial director from Yorkshire&#39s product development team and current intermediary […]

Regulation could lead to mis-selling

The Chartered Insurance Institute has raised concerns that the FSA&#39s plans for mortgage regulation could result in consumer confusion and, at worst, mis-selling. In CP146, the FSA proposes that training and competence in the form of a formal examination is not required for non-advised mortgage sales other than lifetime mortgages, but CII director-general Dr Sandy […]

How we’re challenging challenger banks

The bridging market has enjoyed an excellent couple of years and, as a result, has seen a succession of new lenders enter the market. That competition has forced all of us to look carefully at how we price bridging loans. Over the past few months we have spent a lot of time on adjusting the […]


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