Stamp duty holiday falls short of Government forecasts

And while the impact of the tax holiday to buyers has been far lower than expected, the Treasury has been hit hard by the record low property transaction levels, barely scraping in £2billion from stamp duty in the 2009/10 tax year compared to almost £6.5billion in 2006/07.

Property buyers in London have benefited least from the stamp duty holiday, where typical house values (£374,284) are almost double the national average. Only 13% of transactions in the capital were eligible for the tax relief (£125,000-£175,000 price bracket) between September 2008 and September 2009, far lower than any other region, and saving buyers just £9.4million.

Nicholas Leeming, Commercial Director, Zoopla.co.uk, said: "The stamp duty holiday has so far failed to reinvigorate the housing market in the way that the government predicted, with limited relief for first-time buyers particularly in the South East. With the Government’s plummeting stamp duty revenues, the golden goose of stamp duty now seems somewhat of a dead duck. Rather than ending the stamp duty holiday, the Government should seriously consider extending it by making first-time buyers permanently exempt and by giving others the ability to defer payment for up to say five years."

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