Stamp duty changes threaten to push house prices up

Commenting on the reforms to Stamp Duty Land Tax announced in today's Autumn Statement, Duncan Stott, Director of PricedOut - the campaign for affordable house prices, said:

"There is a real risk that today's stamp duty changes will just end up inflating house prices.

"A house sold at the current average price of £273,000 will now be liable for £4,540 less stamp duty, but since sellers want to maximise the sale price of their property, they will expect buyers to pay this money for the house instead. The result would be the price of this house increasing by 1.7%, while leaving struggling first-time buyers no better off.

"You have to wonder whether George Osborne is trying to stoke up house prices in advance of next year's general election.

"There are real problems with stamp duty suppressing the level of activity in the housing market, which in turn is likely to reduce the level of housebuilding we desperately need to see increase. However, any reforms to stamp duty should be done as part of wider reforms to property taxation, including a comprehensive revaluation and rebanding of council tax."

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