The new stamp duty waiver was the subject of much discussion across all newspapers after it was announced that properties costing less than £175,000 will be exempt for the next year, in an attempt to revive the stagnant housing market. According to the Times, the £600million measure will take more buyers at the bottom of the housing market-likely to be first-time purchasers- out of the stamp duty bracket altogether, saving them up to £1,750. Elsewhere, the Daily Mail and Daily Express both agreed that the mortgage market has suddenly become more competitive, following rate cuts from most major lenders in recent weeks. Reportedly, swap rates are at their lowest for several months, which has fuelled the widespread cuts in fixed-rate mortgages. The bad news however is that the most competitive rates are only available to borrowers with large deposits or plenty of spare equity in the property and the higher the LTV, the more expensive the mortgage.
What the papers say - 3rd September 2008