What the papers said about reforming stamp duty and buying with friends

With the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement approaching, the Telegraph reported this weekend on calls for the Government to restructure the stamp duty system in order to help ‘fix’ the UK housing market. Industry experts claim that high rates are putting buyers off, inflating house prices and even preventing older homeowners from being able to downsize.

Recent research revealed that the stamp duty bill for ‘second-steppers’ has increased by 241% to an average of £5,050 over the last 20 years. Analysts say such high figures are preventing buyers from buying their next property and, at the other end of the spectrum, leaving older owners unable to sell and creating a log-jam.

Raising a deposit is also a challenge, and particularly so for First Time Buyers. The Sunday Times pointed to figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders, which show that the average deposit for a first property is now around £25,970 – but in London that average rises to £76,000. As a result, an increasing number of people are clubbing together to boost their buying power. There are a number of issues to be considered before taking the plunge, however, such as taking legal advice and having a formal agreement place to set out the various contributions to deposit, and what will happen if one borrower decides to move.
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