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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Stamp duty changes save buyers £1.9bn

George Osborne’s stamp duty reforms announced last December have saved home buyers £1.9 billion in the last year.

The average saving since Osborne abolished the old “slab” system is more than £1,500 per home purchase, according to conveyancing service My Home Move.

The changes made a year ago benefited anyone buying a house for less than £937,500

Doug Crawford, chief executive of My Home Move, said the changes were a much-needed boost for those struggling to get on the housing ladder, as prices have risen by 6% during the last year.

“The big winners from the changes have been the first-time buyers and second-steppers who have really struggled from price hikes due to a lack of housing stock.

“Cheaper stamp duty bills don’t fix all the problems facing these buyers, but they do help by making it easier to save for a deposit.”

Crawford said a small minority of buyers who are looking for luxury homes or expensive London properties now pay up to 12% in stamp duty.

“With a slowdown now being felt towards the top end of the market, it could cause a worry for the Government as receipts from stamp duty start to fall.

“However, following last week’s announcement of a 3% stamp duty surcharge for buy-to-let investors, any deficit could be offset from April.”

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