Stamp duty cut boosts house buyer deposits

Tim Wallace
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HOUSE buyers have redirected their stamp duty payments into bigger deposits after the Autumn Statement tax cut, the Mortgage Advice Bureau (MAB) said today.

The mortgage broker said deposits reached their highest level in 14 months in December.

Average buyers’ deposits stood at 30.7 per cent of the total price paid in December, up from a low of just above 28 per cent in March 2014.

In cash terms, the average deposit rose by £2,249 on the month to £71,078.

“Having extra funds to put towards a deposit can not only help to limit borrowing commitments and give people more bargaining power,” said the MAB’s Brian Murphy, “it can also allow access to better mortgage deals at lower LTVs, either at the point of purchase or when it comes to remortgaging at a later date.”

However, the housing market continued to stall in December, according to figures from estate agency Haart.

It found the average house price dipped 0.4 per cent on the month in December to £205,150.

And in London, prices edged down 0.2 per cent to £482,746.

Combined with the fall in stamp duty, this should help first time buyers in particular, Haart said.