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Property market rush expected before stamp duty holiday ends

The UK government is tonight under renewed pressure from consumer groups in the UK with the forthcoming ending of the stamp duty holiday on 31 December. Under recent regulations introduced by the government, homes with a the value of under £175,000 will not attract stamp duty if the deal is completed prior to 31 December at which point the system reverts back to "normal". However, there are calls for the stamp duty exemption to be extended as not all analysts are convinced that the UK property market has turned the corner.

As we await the pre-budget report on 9 December there is hope rather than expectation that the holiday will be extended but the pressure is certain to grow on the UK government between now and the pre-budget report. It was interesting to see that recent figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders showed that first-time buyers are now coming back into the market as mortgage lenders look to reduce their deposit requirements, which until now have effectively barred many first-time buyers from the market.

However, we still need to see a follow-through with the reduction in deposit requirements and increased competition in the sector, which should in due course see mortgage rates move lower. Traditionally Christmas is a very quiet period for the property market but this year looks like being very different with buyers looking to take advantage of the stamp duty holiday.

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