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Law Firm Predicts Rush Of House Sales As Stamp Duty Holiday Ends

Stamp Duty Land Tax



Law firm Irwin Mitchell is predicting a rise in the number of house sales in the region as buyers rush to complete their purchases before the Stamp Duty Land Tax holiday period ends in December.

The Government temporarily raised the threshold for the first band of stamp duty from £125,000 to £175,000 in December 2008, to stimulate the housing market and assist first time buyers.

The stamp duty 'holiday' is due to end on 31 December 2009, and Irwin Mitchell expects the number of completions in Sheffield to continue to increase before the year end deadline.

Lisa Shenton, Partner and Head of Conveyancing at Irwin Mitchell, said: "The number of completed sales in the region has been rising ever since the stamp duty holiday was introduced at the beginning of the year.

"With the market anticipating the return to the £125,000 stamp duty threshold we have already started to see a strong level of instructions and completions and expect this to continue right up to the deadline."

The most recent statistics from the Land Registry show that monthly sales in South Yorkshire have risen sharply since the start of the 2009, with 563 completed sales in January rising to 897 sales in August.

Average house prices for the region have also risen over the past month. The average house price in South Yorkshire is up from £107,530 in September 2009 to £109,305 in October 2009, the second consecutive monthly rise. However this is well down on October 2008 when the average house price was £121,648.

Shenton said: "Although the stamp duty holiday has played an important part in stimulating the housing market, there are other factors that have contributed to its early recovery."

Increased consumer confidence since last year has encouraged more people to commit to a new house purchase and this has been facilitated by an increase in mortgage availability.

"Also, with the VAT rate also expected to return to 17.5% on 1 January 2010, buyers also want to take advantage of lower VAT rates on estate agents and solicitors fees and spend any savings on items for their new house."