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Average buyer £4,500 better off under new stamp duty structure

Most home buyers are benefiting from the new structure of stamp duty that was introduced this time last year, analysis shows.

New research from the Halifax reveals that since the tax was converted from a slab to progressive structure last year, homebuyers have typically saved £4,500 in stamp duty.

Halifax based its calculation on the average house price in England and Wales of £273, 531, and highlights that under the previous stamp duty calculation buyers would have paid £8,205.

Now the cost has now dropped to £3,676, buyers are making a saving £4,529.

Under the new stamp duty structure, only buyers spending more that £938,000 on homes are worse off.

As a result, the top end of the market appears to have slowed. During the first half of 2015 sales above £925,000 dropped by 10% compared to the same period in 2014.

London has shouldered the burden of stamp duty.

While buyers in the capital are responsible for 13% of all property transactions, they contributed 40% of all stamp duty revenues in 2014-15.

Craig McKinlay, mortgages director at Halifax, said:

"The changes made to stamp duty a year ago have been of significant benefit to many buyers.

"Only those purchasing the most expensive homes are worse off.

There is some evidence that the top end of the market has been adversely affected by the changes with sales over £1.5 million falling by twice as much as the market as a whole.

"The failure to index the start point for stamp duty in line with house price inflation has dragged more buyers into the tax net in recent years. Buyers in London have been particularly badly affected with the capital accounting for an increasing and disproportionately large share of stamp duty revenues."

The news follows Chancellor George Osborne’s recent announcement that stamp duty is set to increase on purchases of additional properties, such as buy to let and second homes.

Effective from 1st April 2016, a higher rate of Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) will apply to the purchase of additional properties valued at more than £40,000 and will be calculated at 3% above current SDLT rates.

The government has said that it will use some of the additional tax collected from the increase in rates, to provide £60 million for communities in England where the impact of second homes is particularly acute.


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