Stamp duty dither threatens property market

Urgent clarification is required by the government over the potential for a
stamp duty exemption because it threatens to distort the housing market, warned
industry experts.

Announcing a change to the property market that will take place in the future
was dangerous, according to the National Association of Estate Agents.

‘It is always dangerous to announce that something will happen in the
future,’ said Peter Bolton King, NAEA chief executive, in the


He said that the Tory government’s introduction of mortgage interest relief
in the late 1980’s distorted the market and created a housing sale bubble, and a
stamp duty exemption in the future could have the reverse effect.

The Royal Institution for Chartered Surveyors called for urgent clarification
of the situation.

Property deals are falling through as homebuyers are delaying purchases to
see if a stamp duty exemption is introduced.

But there was no sign of an announcement by chancellor Alistair Darling, as
he refused to give out any more details on what measures were being considered
to help revive the housing market, reported the

The Treasury said last night it was ‘simply wrong’ to say that the government
had put forward a proposal on stamp duty.

‘As we have consistently said, there are a number of options we will need to
consider to help businesses and people through what is undoubtedly a difficult
time,’ it said in a statement.

Further reading:

Treasury keeps mum over stamp duty

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