Last September the Chancellor raised the minimum house price liable for stamp duty from £125,000 to £175,000 so that fewer homebuyers would have to pay the tax.
The policy was due to end this September but will now be extended until the end of the year.
Abbey for Intermediaries managing director Ricky Okey says: “The Government’s extension to the stamp duty ‘holiday’ for properties up to £175,000 until the end of the year is welcome relief for struggling first time buyers but it’s disappointing that it doesn’t go further. The Government should be doing more to help first-time buyers – ideally through a permanent increase to the nil rate threshold – or at the very least, abandoning the ‘slab’ taxation system and make stamp duty incremental, so it works like income tax.
“Our research shows there are more than 3.8 million potential first time buyers trying to get onto the property ladder, which still represents a healthy part of business for many intermediaries. Although the extension of the stamp duty holiday helps, it is only a small part of what needs to be done to lower barriers to entry to the housing market and resolve what is an inherently flawed tax.”