British households pay the highest property taxes
New figures show that British households pay the highest property taxes in the developed world with the amount of stamp duty paid on the average house sale almost doubling since the peak of the last housing boom. A report from the Policy Exchange think-tank shows that property taxes in Britain cost the equivalent of 4.1% of GDP in 2011 against the OECD average of 1.8%. Separate figures from the Council for Mortgage Lenders show that the average amount paid on housing sales is £6,700, up from £4,200 in 2007-08. The CML warned that the rising taxes levied on house sales are now preventing some older people from selling their properties, leaving them trapped in homes that are too big for their needs. It is noted that even though total house sales remain well below the level of the last boom, the Government’s tax take from stamp duty is on course to match sums raised then, the CML estimates. In 2007-08, there were 1.6m housing transactions, which incurred stamp duty of £6.7bn. It said that this year’s total tax take would be close to £6.7bn – even though there will be only around 1m sales this year.