Thursday 19 June 2014 9:16 pm

Stamp duty up over £900m in last 12 months

THE ANNUAL total stamp duty bill has soared to £5.6bn in the year to March 2014, up by over £900m from £4.7bn for the previous year, as home buyers are increasingly being hit by the levy as house prices rise while stamp duty thresholds remain flat, according to research by Lloyds Bank. The increase means that the average home buyer in England and Wales will spend nearly £12,000 on stamp duty as they move up the housing ladder during their lifetime, with Londoners hardest hit. They will have paid three and a half times as much as the UK average, with typical stamp duty costs of above £38,000. The research released yesterday by Lloyds looked at the period between 1998 and 2014, with estimates that the average homebuyer stayed for just under eight years at one property, with three moves on the housing ladder during their lifetime. The report added that in 1998, only 17 per cent of first time buyers paid stamp duty,compared to 83 per cent of first-time buyers in 2014 having to pay the levy, rising to 99 per cent for London first-time buyers. As the proportion of buyers paying stamp duty increased dramatically over the period, Lloyds noted that if stamp duty levels had risen with property prices over the period then duty levels would now be significantly higher, with the top band coming into effect only at £1.29m. Meanwhile, LSL Property Services revealed today that London rents were now increasing by only one per cent a year, below the UK average and significantly down on the 7.9 per cent increases seen in early 2013.