Households will typically pay nearly £12,000 in stamp duty over the course of a lifetime of climbing the housing ladder, according to research.

Lloyds Bank found that the average home owner who has taken three steps on the housing ladder in their lifetime will have spent £11,782 on average just on the tax.

As people typically spend just under eight years living in a property, the research assumed that a home owner had bought their first property in 1998, their second in 2006 and their third in 2014.

The first property would be a typical starter home which would have sat below the stamp duty threshold, while the second would be a semi-detached house which would have been liable for around £1,898 worth of tax, and the third would be a detached property, attracting a typical stamp duty bill of £9,884.

The cost of clambering up the property ladder was found to vary hugely across England and Wales, from a typical cost of £3,718 in Wales to a total bill of around £38,048 for someone taking three steps on the housing ladder in London.

The rigid "slab" structure of stamp duty has been strongly criticised, particularly as surging house prices have pushed more homes into higher tax brackets.

Figures from the Office for National statistics revealed this week that the average UK house price has reached a new high of £260,000 after leaping by 9.9% in the space of a year.

Currently, sales of homes are free of stamp duty up to the value of £125,000 and attract a 1% tax above this level and up to £250,000.

But rising house prices as the housing market gathers pace mean that more purchasers face paying at the higher rates of 3% applied to homes worth over £ 250,000 to £500,000, 4% on those valued at over £500,000 up to £1 million, 5% on those over £1 million to £2 million and 7% beyond that point.

Stamp duty is imposed on the total value of the property , so someone buying a home for between £250,000 and £500,000 pays between £7,500 and £15,000.

Lloyds said its research found that if stamp duty thresholds as they were in 1998 had been raised in line with house price inflation of 158% over the intervening period, assuming the same banding for that time was applied, the 3% stamp duty threshold would not kick in until a home was worth over £1.29 million. Homes worth over £155,000 and up to £645,000 would be subject to a rate of 1% and properties costing over £645,000 up to £1.29 million would be subject to a 2% rate.

Marc Page, mortgages director at Lloyds Bank, said: "Stamp duty bills continue to increase each year as house prices rise.

"The average home mover now pays nearly £12,000 during their life as they make their way up the ladder.

"This just goes to show that unfortunately some dreams still come with a price tag, so home owners need to carefully consider total costs of moving."

A Treasury spokeswoman said: "Stamp duty land tax (SDLT) is only one of a number of costs associated with moving house and the rate is low compared to the equivalent land transaction taxes in comparable European countries.

"It is a progressive tax and those who purchase higher value property pay a higher share of tax. In 2012, 34% of transactions didn't pay SDLT on their purchases and a further 43% paid less than £2,500.

"SDLT is an important source of Government revenue, raising several billion pounds each year to help pay for the essential services the Government provides and supports.

"Reducing it would create a significant cost to the Exchequer at a time when the Government is focused on reducing the deficit."