Homeowners call for Stamp Duty modernisation

Research by The Woolwich has revealed that 79% of homeowners think that Stamp Duty should be scrapped for first time buyers.

Over half – 64% – also believe that the thresholds for stamp duty should be raised as house prices have more than doubled in the past five years.

With research revealing a drop in the number of young couples able to set-up home together and the average age of a first time buyer now at 32, consumers are demanding an overhaul of the Stamp Duty laws in the pre-Budget report on December 2.

A decade ago the average UK house price was 51,7313 – below the stamp duty threshold of 60,000.

This means that the majority of first-time buyers and a large number of second-time buyers would have paid no Stamp Duty.

This year however, the average cost of a house is 154,053 meaning that the majority of home buyers in the UK now have to pay stamp duty.

Andy Gray, head of mortgages for The Woolwich, says: “With house prices doubling in the past five years, it’s no surprise that homeowners are starting to object to paying stamp duty.

“The Stamp Duty threshold was set at 60,000 in March 1993 when the average property cost 50,283 .

“This year the stamp duty threshold would need to be raised above 155,000 to enable homebuyers to be in the same position they were in over 10 years ago.

“Getting a foot on the property ladder is a real challenge for first-time buyers, if they didn’t have to pay Stamp Duty, it would ease their financial burden.”

In the UK, people buying a property worth between 60,000 and 250,000 have to pay tax equal to 1% of the property’s current value. On a property between 250,000 and 500,000 the tax rises to 3% while a property above 500,000 incurs a tax of 4%.