Abolition of stamp duty for first-time buyers effective immediately
First-time buyers no longer need to pay stamp duty on properties priced up to £300,000, and stamp duty will no longer be payable on the first £300,000 of properties priced up to £500,000.
The possible abolition of stamp duty for first-time buyers had been whispered about in the weeks leading up to this Autumn Budget, and Chancellor Philip Hammond delivered the news which many would-be first-time buyers were hoping for.
However, though this change is set to benefit approximately 95% of first-time buyers, the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) has said the measure will likely drive up property prices.
Those looking to climb onto the housing ladder by buying a property in Highbury, Islington, Stoke Newington or Newington Green still need to save for a deposit, and this is usually a big enough challenge in itself.
But we don’t want to be negative. Indeed, the changes to stamp duty for first-time buyers will go a long way to making sure ‘the dream of home ownership is a reality for all generations’.
Elsewhere in the Budget, the Chancellor confirmed that £44 billion will be used to support the housing market, and an aim to build 300,000 additional homes each year by the mid-2020s. There will also be a consultation on potentially giving tax breaks to landlords who offer longer-term tenancies.
Planning reform also came up, and the Chancellor admitted that the problems concerning the property sector cannot be solved by financial investment alone, but by building in areas where there is demand and where there are jobs.
Housing was always likely to be a key feature of this Budget, and it certainly turned out to be.
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