Homebuyers in the South are paying more than three times as much stamp duty as those in the North, figures showed yesterday.
People buying a property in the South of the UK paid an average of £6,280 in stamp duty during 2006/07, while those in the North paid just £1,994 during the same period, according to online mortgage firm www.mform.co.uk. The group, which analysed Treasury data, said people in the South also saw a bigger increase in the amount of the tax they were liable for, with it soaring by 31 per cent during the 12 months to the end of March.
But those in the North paid only 21 per cent more in the tax than they had during the previous 12 months.
It added that the amount of stamp duty people in the South, which is made up of London, the South East, South West and the East, now paid was equivalent to around 25 per cent of average annual earnings.
In the North, which includes all other regions of the UK, it was only around 10 per cent of average pay.
Stamp duty is currently charged at one per cent of the sale price of properties worth between £125,000 and £250,000, rising to three per cent on homes worth between £250,000 and £500,000, with the tax charged at four per cent on those worth more than £500,000.
The higher cost of stamp duty in the South is likely to reflect not just the higher cost of homes there, but also the fact that more properties fall into the 3-5 per cent bands.