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Stamp Duty: Buyers caught out as higher prices trigger tax take

New research shows that the surge in house prices this year has taken homes in at least 25 areas of England alone into stamp duty liability. 

While the first extension of the stamp duty holiday has now ended, there is still the opportunity of a stamp duty free purchase on homes up to £250,000 until the end of September.

However, Keller Williams analysed Land Registry house price data and found that in some areas this is no longer an option, as the higher prices have pushed the average house price above this £250,000 threshold.

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Since July of last year, when the full stamp duty holiday was first launched, the average house price in England has increased from £253,257 to £271,434.

Back in July of last year, the average house price in West Devon sat at £249,541, just below the final holiday threshold in place until the end of September this year. However, since then this has climbed to £306,203.

North Devon has also seen one of the biggest jumps from below to above the final holiday threshold, with house prices climbing from £237,552 to £286,342 currently.

When the stamp duty holiday launched, the average house price in Richmondshire was just £208,812. Today this has climbed to £255,058 meaning the average property no longer qualifies for a stamp duty free purchase.

North Norfolk (£41,407) and Cheshire East (£40,544) have also seen an increase of over £40,000 since last July meaning that the average house price has hopped the final stamp duty free threshold of £250,000 in this time.

The rest of the list includes Cheshire East, Torridge, South Somerset, Breckland, Somerset West and Taunton, Dover, South Lakeland, Cornwall, Herefordshire, Sedgemoor, Hambleton, South Staffordshire, Thanet, Stockport, Rugby, East Northamptonshire, Eastbourne, Medway, Forest of Dean, Blaby and East Suffolk - all of which were home to an average house price below £250,000 when the stamp duty holiday launched, but have since hopped this price threshold and no longer qualify for a tax free property purchase.

“The stamp duty holiday has saved a huge number of buyers quite a considerable sum on their purchase and even the staggered deadline on purchases up to £250,000 is set to see this continue right the way through until the end of September” explains Ben Taylor, chief executive of Keller Williams UK.

“However, the consequence of this adrenaline shot has been some pretty insane rates of house price growth up and down the country. Unfortunately, this scenario is all too familiar and we’ve seen time and time again how stimulating demand without addressing supply can ironically be detrimental to those these initiatives are supposed to help.

“In some cases, the average homebuyer would have benefitted from the final stamp duty deadline at the point it was launched last year, however, since then house price appreciation has pushed property prices beyond the £250,000 and so a stamp duty free purchase is no longer a possibility.”

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