Mortgage Express welcomes Islamic changes

The removal of double stamp duty will result in simpler and cheaper home finance for the UK's growing Muslim population, according to Mortgage Express.

The lender views the latest reform as a catalyst to unlocking demand. Commenting on the move, head of business development, Tim Sturley, said: “This change is beneficial to the Muslim community, particularly the 40% who live in Greater London, as it represents an average saving of £2,420. It's a good start, and should make mortgages more affordable to people who want to own their home without compromising their religious beliefs.”

Currently, Muslims looking to purchase property in accordance with Islamic principles are subject to double stamp duty. This is because Islam forbids the payment or receipt of interest, meaning that Muslims need a mortgage provider who will buy the property then sell it on to them, collecting payments by installment.

Stamp duty reform is the first and most significant step to increasing accessibility to Islamic finance. Other obstacles targeted for removal include high regulatory capital charges, double legal fees and exclusion from housing benefits.