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Problem regions to be hit hardest by Stamp Duty

Overall, however, the majority of Chartered Surveyors are not expecting the end of the Stamp Duty holiday to have a distorting effect on the housing market despite the benefit it has provided first-time buyers. Unsurprisingly it is those working in London and the South East who overwhelmingly agree that it is not forcing more houses onto the market now, and will not lead to a drop in activity once the old system is re-introduced. However, this is more a reflection on the fact that the holiday has had limited impact in these regions as the average house price is well above that of the Stamp Duty threshold.

Similarly in the North, where the average price is well below the threshold at £116,051, there is less concern about the impact of the end of the Stamp Duty holiday. However the regions that are most concerned about the impact are those whose average prices sit well within the margins that are directly affected by the holiday. These are the East Midlands (£133,973), the West Midlands (£142,969), Wales (£134,690) and Scotland (£140,175).

Simon Rubinsohn, RICS chief economist said: "At the time of its introduction, we did question how great an impact this policy would have and judging by the fact that only surveyors in certain parts of the country are particularly concerned about the ending of the holiday, it could be said that some areas of the UK hardly even noticed the change.

"However the additional transaction cost is still a worry to many, particularly first-time buyers, and is a threat to the market in the areas of the country that are still seeing a weak price environment. A return to the status quo will be of benefit to no one, and as such RICS believes that rather than simply reverting back to the old structure for Stamp Duty, the imminent change provides an opportunity for the Government to introduce a wholesale restructuring of the tax."

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