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Stamp duty for southern first-time buyers exceeds £7,500

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by Gill Montia

Property website, SmartNewHomes.com, estimates that stamp duty for those buying a first home in the South of England averages £7,533. London first-time buyers are paying the most, at an average of £12,184.

The figure for the south is almost five time higher than in the north of the country, while in the East Midlands stamp duty costs those getting a foot on the property ladder a mere £2,130.

David Bexon, managing director at the website, points out that average new home price in the south-west, south-east and London falls into the 3% stamp duty threshold.

The current £250,000 and £500,001 stamp duty bands have been in place since July 1997, since when the percentage charged on properties in the £250,000 to £500,001 band has doubled from 1.5% to 3%. For properties above £500,000 it has doubled from 2% to 4%.

This month’s Budget disappointed both house purchasers and mortgage lenders who have been calling for a reform of the tax.

The Chancellor’s only concession was to those who will have an opportunity to purchase their first home through a shared equity scheme. Stamp duty will not be payable until they own 80% of the equity in their homes.

Recent research from Halifax, the UK’s largest mortgage lender, reveals that last year the average first-time buyer paid stamp duty in 99% of local authorities in the south of the UK.

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News posted: March 25, 2008

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