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Stamp Duty ‘stocking filler’ may help homebuyers

The Chancellor’s Stamp Duty changes could prove to be a “modest stocking filler” for homebuyers, it was claimed today.

Commenting on a 20% year-on-year fall in UK mortgage approvals in November, Richard Woodhouse, chief economist at the British Bankers Association, said the figures published today show a “quite a sharp chill to the housing market in recent months.”

“It will be interesting to see what impact the stamp duty changes the Chancellor unveiled in his Autumn Statement will have early in the New Year. They could prove a modest stocking filler for homebuyers and estate agents,” he said.

“It’s also striking to see that unsecured borrowing such as personal loans are growing at their fastest rate for six years. This suggests consumers may be feeling more confident which bodes well for a fruitful Christmas for retailers.”

Key points from the latest figures are:

  • House purchase approvals in November 20% lower than a year before.
  • Annual growth in unsecured borrowing is running at 3.1% – the highest rate for six years.
  • ISA deposits in the year to November were 38% higher than in the previous 12-month period.
  • Manufacturers, retailers and wholesale businesses continue to borrow more.
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