Saturday, April 18, 2009
The freeze on stamp duty on properties up to £175,000 will be extended until the end of the year, Alistair Darling will announce in next week's Budget. Nearly 35,000 first time buyers are likely to benefit from the move which the Chancellor hopes will give the housing market time to recover. The threshold at which buyers must start to pay the duty was raised from £125,000 to £175,000 last September and was initially planned for one year. The extension would cost the Treasury around £100million and Mr Darling has been advised that keeping the new rate in place, rather than reverting to the old threshold in September, will continue to aid any tentative housing recovery. Some mortgage brokers have been calling on Mr Darling to temporarily scrap all stamp duty on residential property.