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'Stamp duty and mortgage problems scupper 1.2m sales' - claim

A building society claims that in the past three years alone no fewer than 1.2m buyers have given up on house moves because of stamp duty costs or mortgage problems.

The Nottingham Building Society says of the 11 per cent of existing home owners who have scrapped plans to move over the past three years, three quarters were deterred by the cost of stamp duty with the remaining quarter being unable to get a mortgage.

Younger home movers in particular – defined as those aged between 18 and 44 – were most likely to be put off by the cost of stamp duty.

The research follows the announcement from the Council for Mortgage Lenders that the “lull in moving activity appears stubbornly persistent” across the UK market and that it plans to launch a study into “why the number of transactions seems in secular decline”.

The CML's most recent mortgage market data shows around £4.9 billion was lent for home movers in January - four per cent less than the previous year with just 23,000 deals completed.

However, the biggest block of all to people moving appears to be a lack of suitable houses to purchase according to the building society. Around 25 per cent of owners questioned in the survey - involving over 1,000 home owners and conducted earlier this year but with results issued only this week - said they had looked but could not find a suitable house.

“There are a wide range of deals and advice available for all types of borrowers but the home moving market is still not expanding which points to wider issues than simply mortgages or stamp duty as the blocks in the market. Home movers clearly are also struggling to find suitable homes to move to” says Ian Gibbons, senior mortgage broking manager at Nottingham Mortgage Services.

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