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Abolish stamp duty say Estate Agents and Landlords

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Estate agent and landlords’ organisations have formed a pressure group called the 1808 coalition (in reference to the year the duty was introduced) to campaign for the total abolition of stamp duty on houses in the UK.

The coalition has been formed between the Association for Residential Letting Agents and the National Association of Estate Agents – both of whom have a clear interest in trying to get back to the ‘good old days’ when their businesses were booming due to the high volumes of house sales and dizzy capital growth.

Last year the chancellor suspended stamp duty for properties under £175,000 (by temporarily raising the qualification rate from £125,000) in an attempt to lower the entry barriers for first time buyers and encourage movement back into the housing market. This temporary suspension ends on 31 December 2009 but there have been calls to extend this further.

Peter Bolton-King, chief executive of NAEA, said that stamp duty prevents access to the housing market to first time buyers and that it unfairly penalises buy-to-let investors.

Some commentators have questioned the interests of the pressure group and suggested it is more self-interested lobbying than concern for UK residents or the wider economy.

Resources: Stamp Duty rates
FT.com article Housing group call to end stamp duty
Citywite commentary on Morning Line

Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

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