Friday, February 12, 2010
Tax tail wags the property dog
The number of loans to first-time buyers hit a two-year high at the end of last year amid a rush to beat the stamp duty increase, research by the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) showed. There were 24,900 loans to first-time buyers in December 2009, the highest number since November 2007, according to CML figures. More than half (55 per cent) of mortgages approved were on properties costing less than Â£175,000, up from 51 per cent in November and therefore exempt from stamp duty before the threshold moved back to 125,000 at the start of this year.