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Nov 24 2017

An early Christmas present for First-time Buyers


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Many in the industry,  myself included, have been vocal for quite some time now about the  dampening and restricting effect stamp duty has had on the housing  market. With his budget announcement earlier this week, Phillip Hammond  removed the burden of stamp duty for the majority of first-time buyers.

This  is a positive step and shows that the government have been listening.  The goal should be to increase home ownership statistics across the UK,  and to minimise the numbers of the population caught within the rental  trap, also going some way to solving the looming crisis of pensioners  who don't own their own homes.

For  most people outside of London, the vast majority of first-time  purchases will fall well below the £300,000 threshold for taxation –  we're talking above 95%. However, in the capital, 70% of first-time  purchases exceed the threshold. Those buying properties over £500,000  will not be entitled to relief, and for those buying properties over  £300,000 the new stamp duty rate will be 5% on the portion above the  threshold.

Of  course some have been critical of the move, and whilst there is no  pleasing some, there is a legitimate need to address supply side issues  in the housing market. At an individual level, first-time buyers will in  the main be glad to save some money during the transaction process when  it is difficult to get together the funds required. But we also need  more homes to be built.

Although  there has been an increase in interest rates, mortgage rates are still  very low, so now is a good time to fix a rate and make a purchase. Help  to buy is still a major factor helping not just first-time buyers –  especially when you're buying a new home. It's also worth saying that  when buying a new home, outgoings in the short and medium term are far  more predictable – most new properties come with a warranty, so you're  not likely to have to spend significantly on maintenance costs for  years. To take advantage of the stamp duty relief, why not get in touch  for a chat about your personal circumstances and your ideal home?

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