An estate agent has written to eight MPs, calling for help to lower the rate of stamp duty.

Mullucks Wells residential director, William Wells, says an inconsistent approach from the government, combined with poorly thought-through legislation and draconian taxation, is preventing the property market from functioning to its fullest potential.

In a letter sent to Braintree MP James Cleverly and others, he said: “Only recently it was reported house prices have seen their biggest monthly fall since 2010.

"Mortgage approvals are at their lowest for five years and homeowners are now moving only once every 14 years, instead of every nine years as they did prior to 2007.

“Much of the cause of these woes can be levelled at the ridiculously high levels of stamp duty land tax, which is freezing entire chains of potential house purchases as people are deterred from trading up.

"This also means older people are staying in houses which are too big for them, preventing young families from buying homes appropriate to their needs.”