Letters: Moving house without pain

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Sir: A friend of mine moving from one academic post to another finds herself in a position where the completion date on buying is a month earlier than that on selling; leaving her to take out a bridging loan which will cost pounds 250 to arrange and pounds 1,000 in interest.

Why should it be so expensive to move; and who benefits from the present system? It is the result of the refusal of estate agents to carry their own stock (of houses) like any other shopkeeper.

There is one way out: it is that local authorities be permitted or compelled to take over all properties at rateable value for resale, letting or any other appropriate purpose. Since their income depends on council tax, they would have every incentive to offer a good price and sell on quickly.