Stamp duty 'should be eradicated'

Date:Friday 28th November 2008
Author: Max Freedman

Stamp duty should be eliminated, one estate agent has declared.

Luke Bennett, founder and managing director of Wimbledon-based SW19, said that stamp duty should be "completely wiped out" or at least ended for first-time buyers, calling it "a massive amount of money".

He noted that while there is currently no stamp duty for properties up to £175,000, this is not a realistic price for a mortgage in London, which typically costs £300,000 for a one or two-bedroom flat.

Mr Bennett also said that the cost of stamp duty affects buyers, saying that they would be paying more even if they managed to bargain thousands of pounds off the cost of a property.

The government has suspended stamp duty on residential properties up to £175,000 until September 2009, an increase from the previous £125,000 limit.

According to a report from Mouseprice in September, 48.6 per cent of all housing stock is worth less than £175,000.