UK homeowners call on government to modernise stamp duty laws

In addition it found that 64 per cent also believe that the thresholds for stamp duty should be raised as house prices have more than doubled in the past five years.

With new research revealing a drop in the number of young couples able to set-up home together, and the average age of a first time buyer now at 342, consumers are demanding an overhaul of the stamp duty laws in the Pre-Budget report on 2nd December 2004.

10 years ago the average UK house price was £51,7313 (Q3 '94) below the stamp duty threshold of £60,000. This means that the majority of first time buyers and a large number of second time buyers would have paid no stamp duty. This year however the average cost of a house is £154,8053 (Q3 '04) meaning that the majority of home buyers in the UK now have to pay stamp duty.

Andy Gray, Head of Mortgages for the Woolwich comments: "With house prices doubling in the past five years, it's no surprise that homeowners are starting to object to paying stamp duty. The stamp duty threshold was set at £60,000 in March 1993 when the average property cost £50,1283 (Q1 '93). This year the stamp duty threshold would need to be raised above £155,000 to enable homebuyers to be in the same position they were in over 10 years ago.

Getting a foot on the property ladder is a real challenge for first-time buyers, if they didn't have to pay stamp duty, it would ease their financial burden."

In the UK, people buying a property worth between £60,000 and £250,000 have to pay tax equal to one per cent of the property's current value. On a property between £250,000 and £500,000 the tax rises to three per cent while a property above £500,000 incurs a tax of four per cent.