Stamp Duty Confusion


Looks like the Chancellor, Alistair Darling (thanks to the character Captain Darling, I always think of Blackadder when I hear his name) is in a bit of a mess over possible changes to stamp duty.

It has been reported that Darling is considering proposals that would allow buyers to postpone paying stamp duty on their house purchases – a suggestion which has led to confusion amongst buyers as to whether they should wait for the new rules to come in before buying their property. It’s meant that there could be further stagnation in an already lacklustre housing market.

The Chancellor is left in an awkward situation – although the government suggest the report is untrue, it would appear to be a policy that they’re considering, but they may not have had chance to work out how much it will cost, or how it will be paid for.

It’s also difficult for Darling or the government to say the stories are untrue, as to back-track at a later day could be political suicide – something neither Darling nor the government could do with right now.

So the upshot is further confusion in the housing market – buyers unwilling to commit until they know the full details, sellers unable to sell, and estate agents left in the middle trying to pick up the pieces where they can.

Creative Commons License photo credit: Aspo

3 thoughts on “Stamp Duty Confusion

  1. I’m not sure what they’re going to do about it either. It doesn’t really affect me though since my house is so cheap it’s exempt from stamp duty. On the other hand, if house prices keep falling I’ll be in negative equity very shortly.

  2. It’s been a real cock up. It doesn’t effect me but imagine for a minute that you are an Estate Agent. Times are hard and you only sold two houses last month. This month you are eagerly awaiting the sales to go through so you can invoice the vendors only for the the buyers to call up and put everything on hold until the Government come clean on what they plan to do!

    Bang – another 10,000 votes for the Tories from Middle England EA’s

  3. Its been one of those nasty little rumours, who knows were it start, maybe because last time the housing market was poor (tory’s 1992? ) the stopped stamp duty, but found any good effect cancelled out when they reintroduced it later on. All conclusions were – it doesn’t work. Darling did eventually have to come out and rule it out, but even that gap before he did worried the markets. (Darling for the Chancellor – it reminds me so much of the Ministry of Love from 1984 :) )

    What if it was a rumour sparked off by a Tory insider – where did the rumour come from? Could be a very clever political trick by a timely press release with a tabloid.

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