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'Make house sellers pay stamp duty' – Yorkshire Building Society

Credit: ITV Yorkshire

Yorkshire Building Society is calling for house sellers rather than buyers to pay stamp duty in order to help young people onto the property ladder.

It says a change in the rules would save buyers in England, Wales and Ireland an average of £3,791 and those in London more than £13,000.

The building society claims it would lead to an additional 16,000 property sales in the first year, including 6,000 to first-time buyers.

However, there are concerns such a change could increase competition for housing.

Data from the National Housing Federation (NHF) shows there are 1.5 million UK homeowners aged 85, and that they own more of the nation’s housing wealth than everybody under 35.

Some fear making home sellers pay for stamp duty could discourage pensioners from selling their houses, saying it would make more sense for them to pass on their homes via a will or by changing the name on the deed, therefore avoiding the tax.

The NHF says that Britain needs to build 250,000 new homes a year in order to meet demand and control runaway house prices, but only half this amount are being constructed.