Housing sales slump blamed on stamp duty changes
Following changes to stamp duty on house purchases, implemented by Chancellor George Osborne, critics have said that high-value sales have slowed and other sales have not been boosted.
According to Land Registry figures, the number of properties sold to private UK property buyers in the seven months between December 2014 – when the changes were introduced – and June 2015 was 462,000. In the preceding seven months it was 569,000 and before that 506,000.
It’s thought that Osborne was aiming to improve sales by cutting stamp duty for houses worth over £1m and raising it for houses worth more – but it appears that prices for the most expensive properties have actually fallen, which some experts have blamed for a more widespread negative impact.
Stamp duty charges can make it difficult for people wanting to buy a new house, often affecting their ability to afford a deposit and other purchasing costs. This may lead to lower offers or even offers that are entirely withdrawn – causing problems in turn for those trying to sell, especially if a quick house sale is desired.
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