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December 8, 2009

Newcastle BS joins campaign to extend stamp duty holiday

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by Kay Mitchell

Newcastle BS joins campaign to extend stamp duty holiday

A number of organisations within the housing market are urging the Government to extend the stamp duty holiday.

In September 2008, the Government opted to increase the stamp duty threshold from £125,000 to £175,000 in a bid to revive the housing market.

Consequently, properties under £175,000 are currently exempt from the tax but this is set to end on 31 December 2009.

For several months, the National Association of Estate Agents and the Association of Residential Letting Agents have been calling for an overhaul of the stamp duty system.

In November, several industry trade bodies including the Association of Mortgage Intermediaries, the Building Societies Association, and the Council of Mortgage Lenders joined the campaign.

The Newcastle Building Society is now also calling on the Government to extend the stamp duty holiday ahead of Alistair Darling’s last Pre-Budget report before the general election.

Steve Urwin, Senior Sales and Marketing Executive at Newcastle Building Society, said: “Extending the stamp duty deadline beyond the New Year to homes valued between £125,000 and £175,000 would undeniably support homeowners.”

However, a recent survey by Zoopla.co.uk, the online property website, said increasing the stamp duty threshold has failed to kick-start the housing market in the way the Government expected.

Zoopla.co.uk said the stamp duty holiday only helped 115,447 UK homebuyers in its first year – less than a quarter of the number the Government expected to benefit.

The property website said the tax relief saved property buyers £173 million, compared to the £600 million forecast by the Government between 2 September 2008 and 1 September 2009.

Finally, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors recently said the end of the stamp duty holiday could have a “detrimental effect” on the housing market in areas yet to see a recovery.


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