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Stamp duty failure in pre-Budget report condemned

The threshold will now return to its previous level of £125,000.

While the Chancellor’s move was widely predicted it has also been heavily criticised by industry experts.

Rosemary Rogers, Director, reallymoving.com said: "With no incentive to buy and the difficulties in securing mortgage finance, the end of this holiday could well see the housing market stagnate in the New Year, as first-time buyers are unable to raise the funds to get onto the property ladder. New measures must be introduced to help the lower end of the market and keep people moving, without first-time buyers, who are the lifeblood of the market, the small recovery that has been made to date will simply be wiped out."

Meanwhile, Nigel Lewis of FindaProperty.com, said: "Despite Alistair Darling’s protestations, his stamp duty holiday did relatively little to help the housing market.

"It would have taken an increase to £250,000 rather than £175,000 to make any difference, because at that level it would have exempted 61% of all properties currently on the market. So instead, it’s now up to mortgage lenders to support home buyers. They need to relax their lending criteria and make finance available to more people. This is the only way we’ll prevent a reversal in the property market’s recovery next year."

Phil Calderbank, Director at lettingsearch.co.uk, had a different perspective. He said: "The decision to end the stamp duty holiday from 1 January as planned is certain to benefit the lettings market, further boosting tenant demand. With mortgage lending still extremely restricted, first-time buyers who missed out on jumping onto the ladder and avoiding the tax for properties below £175,000 are now likely to postpone a purchase altogether, opting to let instead. Landlords can look forward to a busy winter with few void periods and stable rents."

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