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25% of estate agents say stamp duty delay has affected sales

One quarter of UK estate agents say the Chancellor’s indecision regarding stamp duty has led to sales falling through.

A poll of 1350 estate agents by the National Association of Estate Agents found that the recent stamp duty issue is and the effect it has had on the property market.

The Chancellor Alistair Darling recently hinted at a possible stamp duty holiday to revive the UK housing market. The treasury then retracted the statement, which was then reiterated once again by housing minister Caroline Flint.

The poll revealed 25 per cent of agents now claim that a sale has fallen through as a direct result of the Chancellor’s comments. Whilst 92 per cent of agents believe the Chancellors remarks have increased consumers concerns.

A further question then asked if any current purchasers has asked whether they should buy now or wait and see to what the Chancellor says in the Autumn Pre-Budget Statement, 62 per cent of respondents answered yes.

NAEA chief executive Peter Bolton King says: “Instead of the Government formulating a careful plan outlining their thoughts clearly and concisely with a clear time frame in mind, this comment was simply made off-the-cuff.

“Consumers are confused and with this uncertainty transactions in the market have been and will continue to slow down. From past experience we know that announcements concerning future changes can have a dramatic effect on the entire market and can cause huge distortions.

Consumers need reassurance – clear and immediate decisions in this area need to be made. Sometime in Autumn is not good enough. The Government need to clear up this uncertainty as soon as possible to help minimise the disruption to the market place and help the British economy move forward. We would welcome the opportunity to meet with the Treasury to try and help overcome this problem.”

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