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What is stamp duty, how has it affected the housing market and how do you calculate the rate for your property?

10 August 2017

What is stamp duty?

Stamp duty land tax (SDLT) is a lump sum payment anyone buying a property or land over a certain price has to pay.

The rate a buyer would have to fork out would vary depending on the price and type of the property.

Rates are different depending on whether it is residential, a second home or buy to let.

Buy to let rates were jacked up by three per cent in April last year making landlords costs higher.

They also differ in Scotland. **

How do you calculate the rate for your property**

The current system in England and Wales for residential properties means:

You pay nothing if the property costs below £125,000 You pay 2 per cent if it is worth between £125,001 and £250,000. You pay 5 per cent if between £250,001 and up to £925,000 You pay 10 per cent if it is between £925,001 and £1.5 million And finally 12 per cent on anything over £1.5 million For second homes or buy to let properties:

Zero rate band on purchases up to £150,000 2 per cent on purchases between £150,001 and £250,000 5 per cent on purchases above £250,001 The government provides a handy calculator to let you know how much you would pay on a property.

What has been its affect on the housing market?

A Cabinet minster warned in August 2017 that the tax needed to be reformed to avoid making the housing crisis worse by older homeowners downsizing.

Academics claim that current stamp duty rates reduce home moving by nearly a third and this means that larger homes are not being freed up for young, growing families, according to The Daily Telegraph.

The Chancellor Philip Hammond is now being urged to slash the rates in the Autumn Budget in a bid to speed up the market.

A report has shown that millions of pensioners are unable to flog their large homes after they become to big for them because the rates put off younger buyers.

The study from the London School of Economics and the VATT Institute for Economic Research has advocated scrapping the tax completely.

The boffins claim that doing this would increase the rate of home moving by 27 per cent.

In May it was revealed the cost of moving house has gone up by around 25 per cent in the past 10 years, to a whopping £9,472.

The Office for National Statistics has created a handy test for first time buyers telling them how much cash they’ll have to fork out for their first home.

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