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The Nationwide building society has produced figures suggesting that the government's claim its recent stamp duty reforms would benefit 98 per cent of purchasers are rather wide of the mark.

According to the society, in figures shown to the Sunday Times, some 71 per cent of buyers will save money under the new system with 27 per cent unaffected and two per cent of buyers worse off.

One of the reasons for the difference between the government's figures and those suggested by the society is that many homes in the north of England in particular actually sell below the old - and new - first threshold for stamp duty, £125,000.

The Nationwide research points out that in the Liverpool constituency of Walton only eight pere cent of sales in the past year have been above £125,000. In Kingston-upon-Hull only 17 per cent of buyers pay stamp duty, while in Middlesbrough the figure is just 22 per cent. Across the north east of England as a whole the total paying stamp duty is only 45 per cent.

The means a significant number of buyers in this region - and in many other areas away from London and the south east - will not benefit at all from the stamp duty change.

In the capital and south east England, by contrast, some 86 per cent of buyers will benefit. The only constituency in England and Wales where most buyers will pay more under the new system is Kensington and Chelsea, where 51 per cent of purchasers will have to pay more than under the old duty regime.


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