Chancellor Phillip Hammond has described the axing of stamp duty for first-time buyers as an incentive to save for house deposits. Though the chancellor has faced criticism over his policy, with some critics saying it will simply raise house prices, he has defended his plans. The policy means first-time buyers purchasing homes worth less than £300,000 will be able to swerve stamp duty. Hammond also claims the policy will enable a million to get on the property ladder.
The Office for Budget Responsibility said the axing of stamp duty would send prices up by approximately 0.3%. The OBR argued that this would result in first-time buyers paying more and existing property owners would experience bigger benefits, whilst claiming the incentive would lead to just 3,500 more homes being sold.
The chancellor argued that stamp duty rather than the ability to save for a deposit was the biggest barrier to home ownership. Figures from Halifax say that first-time buyers currently need a deposit of £33,000 outside of the capital, with the figure rising to around £106,577 in London. Hammond said abolishing stamp duty would save first-time buyers around £1,700 on average, adding that he was putting an additional £15 billion to increase the number of homes being built.
The view from the Shadow Chancellor
Shadow chancellor John McDonnell said the cut in stamp duty wasn’t justified by the number of new homes being built, supporting the OBR’s claims that the policy would merely increase house prices. The chancellor has also been criticised over the OBR’s reduced growth forecasts, but said confidence was likely to return once further negotiations over Brexit had taken place. He told BBC Radio 4 that the “range of outcomes” would be narrowed down once greater clarity on the UK’s future relationship with the EU was available, describing a successful Brexit as “the government’s number one priority”.
How we can help
At HS Lawyers, we can come to your assistance if you require advice on stamp duty and whether you are eligible to pay it. We have an excellent track record when it comes to conveyancing, taking much of the stress and uncertainty out of buying and selling property. We have more than two decades of experience to draw upon and have managed conveyances throughout the country.
As a HS Lawyers client buying or selling property, you will only deal with one fully-qualified and highly-experienced conveyancer from start-to-end. We will always keep you in the loop when it comes to how things are developing, never leaving you in the dark when there’s important news to pass onto you.
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