Stamp duty threshold 'must be raised'

The chancellor of the exchequer should raise the stamp duty threshold to £250,000 to alleviate pressure on those trying to get on the housing ladder, according to the Home Builders Federation (HBF).

Stewart Baseley, executive chairman of the HBF, explains that housing affordability is at its worst for nearly 20 years and that it is no surprise that Scottish first-time buyers, or any other would-be purchasers, find it hard to obtain a home.

"Raising the threshold to £250,000 would remove 90 per cent of first-time buyers from paying stamp duty – reducing their costs and helping more people make the important first step," he adds.

Other short-term measures the federation proposes include additional financial incentives for first-time buyers, such as reintroducing mortgage interest relief.

Stamp duty is currently payable at one per cent of the whole purchase price of a property if it costs between £125,001 and £250,000, rising to four per cent for homes worth £500,001 or more.