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Budget 2010: Help is at hand for the UK property sector

Today's budget saw Alistair Darling, the Chancellor the Exchequer, announce a doubling of the stamp duty threshold from £125,000-£250,000 for 2010 and 2011. This is a welcome move and is forecast to impact upon property purchases by nine out of ten first-time buyers in the UK although there is a sting in the tail for those with properties worth in excess of £1 million.

While increasing the stamp duty threshold for lower value properties the Chancellor will increase the stamp duty rate for properties in excess of £1 million by 5%. This is yet another attempt to differentiate between the "haves and the have-nots" and inject more class warfare into the forthcoming election campaigns. In simple terms, this is robbing Peter to pay Paul.

However, it has to be said that in the short term this will see an improvement in the UK property sector, at a time when the sector is struggling and UK property sales had begun to stagnate. Quite why Alistair Darling has increased the threshold to £250,000 when the average home in the UK is worth around £170,000 is a bit of a mystery although it could be an attempt to grab the attention of those with a little more money than your average first-time buyer.

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