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First-time buyer stamp duty doubles in five years

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by Gill Montia

Halifax, the UK’s largest mortgage lender, has published new figures showing that stamp duty for first-time buyers has almost doubled in the past five years, to an average of £1,751.

Between 2002 and 2007, the average amount of the duty paid by first-time buyers increased by 82%.

In the south, one-fifth of first-time buyers now pay the tax at the rate of 3%, raising the cost of a first home by a minimum of £7,500.

In 2002, only one in 50 first-time buyers bought property costing over £250,000, the point at which the higher rate threshold applies.

In London, where property inflation has been at its highest, the average bill has risen to £8,675.

In the capital, the south-east, the south-west and East Anglia the majority of first-time buyers now pay the tax, which applies at the lower rate of 1% on homes worth over £125,000.

A number of professional organisations are currently petitioning the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Alistair Darling, to use this week’s Budget to reduce stamp duty for buyers looking for their first home, however, last year the tax provided revenue of £6.4 billion.

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News posted: March 10, 2008

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