A couple of weeks ago Alistair Darling appeared to suggest there may be plans afoot to change the way stamp duty was charged, causing widespread uncertainty in the housing market as people waited for confirmation.
Although the Government has said this is one option possibly beig considered, no firm details have been forthcoming. Whilst the coverage of this has died down, a report published today suggests that it has had a profound effect on movers.
The study by MoveMe.com suggests that as many as 83% of movers have delayed their decision, pending further information about stamp duty – to me, that’s a staggering amount, although when you consider that the minimum amount of stamp duty you can pay on house is £1,250 (view all stamp duty rates), it’s not entirely surprising that in these uncertain times people are trying to watch every penny. You can hear the sound of housing chains collapsing around the country.
Here’s how the responses from the 1,500 people surveyed panned out:
- 63% of movers said they were postponing their move.
- 20% said they were delaying moving.
- 17% were unaffected.
There’s no doubt that scrapping the tax would help the market for houses, especially for first-time buyers, but by failing to confirm whether or not anything is to be done about it, the Government is exacerbating the problem.
photo credit: cseanburns
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