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Half of borrowers avoided stamp duty in September

Half of mortgage borrowers avoided stamp duty levies in the wake of Government reforms.

According to the Council of Mortgage Lenders, the temporary increase in the stamp duty threshold saw 51 per cent of homebuyers avoiding stamp duty in September, compared with 22 per cent in September last year.

However, the number of house purchase loans was 57 per cent lower than September 2007.

There were 35,000 loans for house purchase worth £5bn in September, down 15 per cent from August, and less than half of September 2007 levels. There were 62,000 loans for remortgage worth £8.5bn in September, also down 15 per cent from August.

CML director general, Michael Coogan says: “While house purchase activity has reached exceptionally low levels, it is encouraging to see transaction costs lowered for a larger proportion of borrowers.

“The government should consider what other measures can be brought forward to enable the market to transact more easily.

Coogan assured borrowers that UK lenders are doing all they can to bring down mortgage rates. He says: “If the pricing and volume of interbank lending continues to improve, this should help the flow of mortgage lending.”

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