Housing market is facing a double hit as stamp duty rises

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THE housing market is facing challenges from rising stamp duty and complexity in the next few months – and Milton Keynes businesses are calling for action.

A tax break for first time buyers in properties selling for between £125,000 and £250,000 is due to come to an end on March 24.

The ending of the stamp duty holiday and the levying of a 1 per cent tax means an extra £2,500 in duty costs for buyers. A housebuilder is advising buyers to move quickly.

Jackie Day, sales director at housebuilder David Wilson Homes South Midlands, which has developments in the new city at Great Monks Street, Wolverton, and Glouster Gate, Broughton, said: “Saving for a deposit is now more demanding than it has ever been and so the reintroduction of stamp duty will certainly disadvantage first-time buyers. Those considering getting on to the property ladder this year will now have to move quickly in order to benefit from the stamp duty holiday.”

But the housing market also faces problems as delicate chains collapse because of delays in the home-buying process, says Richard Dunkley, principal at Ray Borley Dunkley LLP Solicitors in High Street, Stony Stratford.

Mr Dunkley, said: “For every sale in the chain to go ahead each one must run as smoothly as possible. That’s the theory, but in practice it does not always happen. Delays in exchanging contracts or even someone in the chain pulling out at the last minute can all put the home buying chain at risk”.

Ray Borley Dunkley LLP Solicitors is one of the national Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS) members. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the company wants buyers to get solicitors involved as early as possible to stop delicate chains from snapping.

Mr Dunkley said: “Most people wait until late in the process to consult a solicitor, but by including them early they can help come up with an agreed time frame in which to sort out any potential problems that arise.”