Revision to stamp duty announced in Autumn Statement
Chancellor George Osborne made the changes to the existing system the centrepiece of the Autumn Statement.
But within hours of the details emerging, estate agents reported a surge in customers “panic buying” expensive homes, before the new rates could come into effect.
Overall, the surprise changes to stamp duty were welcomed and it is claimed that as many as 98 per cent of buyers could benefit.
Some Tory MPs have nonetheless expressed reservations, claiming that the reforms could pave the way for a stealth tax as property prices rise.
Under the new system, anyone who buys a house worth more than £927,000 will have to pay more stamp duty.
But with house prices expected to climb by 30 per cent by 2020 there are fears that, unless the bands are adjusted, an increasing number of people will be stung by the increased rates.
“Within more or less a decade, average homeowners could get hit by this 10 per cent rate,” said the Tory MP Dominic Raab, in a Commons debate on the new system.
“Recent experience shows that what starts as a tax aimed at the rich, within a relatively short period of time if we are not very careful ends up clobbering the middle classes.”
However, many property experts have applauded the move, describing it as “extremely positive news” for first and second-time buyers.
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