Osborne Slaps 15% Stamp Duty Tax on Residential Properties Worth Over Half a Million

    Chancellor George Osborne has slapped a 15% stamp duty tax on residential properties worth over £500,000 that are purchased through companies.

    In the Budget 2014 announcement, Osborne said "we will expand the tax on residential properties worth over £2m to those worth more than £500,000. "

    Initially, Britons hoped to hear about whether the government would allow sellers to deduct the value of stamp duty paid by their buyer from the stamp duty they pay on their next home.

    On 17 March, the UK's largest independent estate agent Haart, said Osborne was considering stamp duty tax credits.

    "Stamp duty is an unjustified burden on middle income families, especially in London and the southeast. It is also preventing the proper functioning of the housing market, exacerbating the shortage of housing supply," said Paul Smith, a manager at Haart.

    "We are proposing a workable solution which would transform stamp duty from the tax on transactions that it currently is, with all the economic inefficiency this suggests, into a fairer tax based on the incremental increase in the value by which buyers are stepping up in the market. With each buyer in a chain now paying stamp duty, the exchequer is getting many bites from the same cherry – this cannot be justified."

    UK Housing Market

    Much-needed house building in the UK has hit its highest level since the dawn of the financial crisis, but is still falling far short of ever-growing demand.

    The volume of new homes registered with the National House Building Council (NHBC) hit 133,670, up 28% on the year before and the most since 2007.

    This came as the domestic economy began its recovery from the post-crisis slump, construction firms rebounded from a collapse in output in 2012, and mortgage-easing stimulus such as the Help to Buy scheme fuel demand.

    Meanwhile, Halifax said UK house prices rose sharply across the year in February amid the housing market recovery.

    According to the building society's monthly index, the average price of a UK home was 7.9% higher than a year before, at £179,872.

    Date: 19/03/2014  |  Source: International Business Times

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