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October 8, 2009    

Estate agents call for extension of stamp duty holiday

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by Gill Montia

The National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) is calling on the Government to extend the stamp duty holiday on properties worth up to £175,000.

The threshold at which one per cent stamp duty is paid was raised from £125,000 to £175,000 in September of last year, creating an opportunity for homebuyers to save up to £1,750.

However, the concession is due to end in December, which could be dangerous timing for the UK property market as it begins to show signs of recovery.

First-time buyers, who are most likely to benefit from an extension, currently make up 26% of new sales.

The Association is therefore arguing that any cost involved in extending the holiday will be outweighed by additional stamp duty and VAT receipts generated further up sale chains.

According to the NAEA’s latest market report, the number of people registered to look for property increased from 238 per branch in August, to 294 in September, while the number of sales made increased from eight to nine per branch, on average.

However, the level of housing stock dipped slightly from a typical 62 houses on sale per branch in September, down from 64 in August.

NAEA president, Gary Smith, comments: “NAEA figures show that the housing market is well into the first phase of recovery, but more needs to be done before we can enter the second phase.”

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