Calls for stamp duty scrap

With the housing market stagnating, a London estate agent has called for stamp duty to be scrapped.

House prices have been falling consistently for a number of months and SW19 director and founder Luke Bennett believes that cutting out stamp duty for all homes may stimulate the market.

The governments previous attempt at doing so failed after it raised the stamp duty threshold from £125,000 to £175,000.

Now Mr Bennett wants to see further action taken.

"Its important and I think stamp duty should be completely wiped out. In the worst case it should be non-existent for first-time buyers; its a massive amount of money if you think about it," he said.

"[On properties that cost] up to £175,000 theres no stamp duty but really, what can you buy for £175,000 in and around London? Nothing at all."

Scrapping the duty would enable buyers to spend their hard-earned cash on something more tangible and enjoyable such as a bespoke glazed extension.

Until the government does scrap the duty, many homeowners will avoid moving, preferring instead to improve their current property in the hope of raising its value.

One way of doing so is to build a conservatory or kitchen extension.

According to a recent study by Mouseprice, less than half of the homes in the UK are currently stamp duty-exempt.