By Tristan Harris Monday 19 August 2013 Updated: 19/08 16:01
HOME-BUYERS in Redditch have paid almost £2million in Stamp Duty in the last year alone.
Figures released this week show that, of the 1,047 properties sold across the district last year, the buyers paid a combined £1,800,060 to The Treasury.
That equates to an average of £1,719.25 per buyer.
Those purchasing properties have to pay Stamp Duty of one per cent on a property which is more than £125,000 and according to county figures, the average house price in Redditch is £158,614.
As the prices get higher, so do the Stamp Duty rates - three per cent is levied if their purchase is more than £250,000 and at £500,000 the fee goes up to four per cent. It then increases to five per cent after £1million and culminates in a 15 per cent levy on a home of £2million or more.
Of the £1.8million duty paid, £1,119,612 of that (62 per cent) was paid by just ten buyers who paid Stamp Duty of three per cent and above.
The figures were uncovered by the Taxpayers' Alliance which has launched its Stamp Out Stamp Duty Campaign.
The group is calling on the Government to cut the tax in a bid to help families get on the property ladder.
It claims Chancellor George Osborne promised to increase the Stamp Duty threshold in 2007, but that had not been done.
Andrew Oulsnam, chartered surveyor and managing partner of Robert Oulsnam and Company, said reducing Stamp Duty would be of great benefit to the housing market.
"Each time the Government has reduced Stamp Duty, there has been an increase in sales.
"Prices have risen but the thresholds haven't, meaning some properties are covered by rates of Stamp Duty that they would not have been before."
He added the extra Stamp Duty had put buyers off from buying properties of certain prices.
Matthew Sinclair, the TaxPayers' Alliance's chief executive, said: “Owning your own home is an important milestone, but for many families it seems harder and harder to reach.
"Ministers have done nothing to ease the burden imposed by Stamp Duty, which is an unfair double tax that gets in the way of would-be first-time buyers and others thinking about moving.
"Instead they have made things worse with new thresholds and new, higher rates.
"The Government needs to act on ministers' rhetoric about getting people onto the property ladder and cut this unfair tax.”
But MP Karen Lumley said the number of people receiving loans for first-time homes was up 30 per cent from last year as a result of Government policy and rising consumer confidence.
"The Government inherited - the highest structural budget deficit of any major economy in the world and it has had to make difficult decisions on tax and spending. As much as it is appealing, cutting stamp duty would create a cost which would have to be met by other taxes on hardworking people."
"The recent good news in first time buyer confidence is a result of Government policy, in particular the Help to Buy programme to increase the supply of low-deposit mortgages to credit worthy buyers, increase the supply of new housing and contribute to economic growth. First time buyers are also being assisted by near record low interest rates as a result of our plans to tackle the deficit and the Funding for Lending scheme, which is increasing the number of mortgages at competitive rates."
For more on the campaign, visit www.stampoutstampduty.org
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