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Budget cuts stamp duty for first time buyers, but is it all good news?

December 4th 2017
By: Melanie
Budget cuts stamp duty for first time buyers, but is it all good news?

The Chancellor, Philip Hammond recently announced in his Budget that first time buyers will no longer have to pay stamp duty on properties up to the value of £300,000 as well as first time buyers in London having no stamp duty to pay on £300,000 of their property purchase. This will save first time buyers around £5,000 making 80% of first time purchases exempt from stamp duty.

However sceptics of these changes, notably the OBR, Office for Budget Responsibility say that the main winners from this scheme will be those people who have already on the housing ladder as they predict that this will further more push up property prices in the UK. 

As part of the Governments plans to make homeownership more attainable for people in the UK, Hammond also announced several other changes:

  • Local authorities being able to charge double the amount of council tax on properties that are left empty. 
  • They will focus on new housing developments in city centres and around areas with good transport, introducing possible new rules on the minimum density of homes. 
  • Creating a new policy to encourage planning permission on schemes with involve high density housing for first time buyers and properties with affordable rent. 
  • Funding loans and guarantees up to £44bn to help boost the supply of homes buy up to 300,000 by the mid 2020’s, including £15.3bn of new money. 
  • A review to find out why there is shortfall between the amount of new houses which are granted housing consent and the actual amount of house that are actually built. 
  • A consultation to find out why landlords are not offering tenants longer leases with securer tenancies. 
  • Lifting borrowing caps for local authorities that are based in expensive areas to enable them to build more homes.