Alistair Darling’s budget criticised by estate agents

UTTLESFORD estate agent Mullucks Wells has responded negatively to the doubling of the previous lower stamp duty threshold, announced in this week s budget. On Wednesday, chancellor Alistair Darling revealed that for the next two years, any first time buy

UTTLESFORD estate agent Mullucks Wells has responded negatively to the doubling of the previous lower stamp duty threshold, announced in this week's budget.

On Wednesday, chancellor Alistair Darling revealed that for the next two years, any first time buyer purchasing a house in the UK worth up to �250,000 would be spared stamp duty altogether.

However Director William Wells has questioned whether the move will provide first time buyers with the help they need to step onto the first rung of the housing ladder.

He said: "In reality, there are very few people in the country whose first purchase is anywhere near a quarter of a million pounds.


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"Their principal problem is not stamp duty - it's finding a suitable deposit and the lack of available mortgage products. Instead, the focus should be placed upon increasing the actual number of mortgages sold."

Mr Wells also doubted whether the corresponding increase in stamp duty on properties over �1m from four per cent to five per cent would provide the funds necessary for the changes not to impact upon the public purse.

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He explained: "Only just over 4000 properties worth over �1m were sold last year in the UK. Therefore it is simply disingenuous to suggest that by fleecing the supposedly wealthy, this will pay for reductions at the lower end.

"A cynic would suggest that there is a General Election around the corner.

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