Eddie and Sue Arthur

What should we do?

There are reports today that the government is considering suspending ‘stamp duty’ on house sales in the UK. Stamp duty is a strange name for a tax which you pay when you buy a house here, it isn’t a very high percentage, but with houses being as expensive as they are in the UK, stamp duty quickly mounts up to several thousand pounds.

As if housebuying in England wasn’t stressful enough, we now have to weigh up whether we should wait a few months to see whether or not the government will suspend a tax. Apparently the idea of suspending stamp duty is to stimulate the housing market. It may do so when (and if) they suspend it, but I suspect that in the short term it is simply going to freeze the market completely.

Any one who has an insight into the housing market or the workings of the British government, please advise us!

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3 Comments on “What should we do?

  1. Judging by your earlier posts, I guess it’s a house in Southampton? I’ve just started work in Southampton, but unfortunately my family can’t really move from Somerset until next summer.

    My guess is that prices will have fallen by 20% till then. My wife is concerned that they’ll rocket back up as soon as someone makes positive noises about the economy.

    It’s all a question of timing.

    If we leave the faith angle out entirely, that is:)

  2. My anti-spam word is “rent”, but my advice is “buy”, now, if you have found the house you want. You can try using this rumour as a lever to bring the price down, which might work. If the market slows down, that will just make more sellers more desperate and so bring prices down. But think about a bird in the hand. I don’t believe anything will really be abolished, the most you will get is a longer time to pay. But more likely the government will play sympathetic until the public forgets this idea but not actually do anything about it.

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