Property boom to beat tax whammy

Haart Chief Executive Paul Smith said: “Various hard-won tax concessions are being dropped and higher rates coming back into play, which will inevitably hit people in their pockets at a time when they need it least.

“No sooner will they have come to terms with the 2p a litre increase in fuel duty, on top of a rise in prices at the petrol pumps, and they will have to fork out for the VAT increase back to 17.5% and the lowering of the stamp duty threshold to £125,000.

“Where buyers of properties under £175,000 were previously exempt from stamp duty, they’ll now have to pay 1% on properties over £125,000 – which will add an extra £1,600 on the price of an average first time property of £160,000. Plus with additional VAT on both stamp duty and fuel duty, the consumer will be even worse off.

“Once people are aware of this, the inevitable consequence will be a rush to buy, fuelling a mini-boom between now and the end of the year. Whilst this may appear good news for a housing market which is emerging from the downturn, what we’re most concerned about is what will happen during 2010.

“We would urge the Government to think long and hard about ending the stamp duty holiday introduced in September 2008. The public have been battered by this economic downturn in so many ways. This is one more it could well do without.”

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