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Friday, 23 March 2018
CHANCELLOR Philip Hammond’s decision to abolish stamp duty for first-time buyers up to a value of £300,000 has this week been welcomed by mortgage lenders the Halifax.
The stamp duty cut in last week’s autumn budget also applies to the first £300,000 of homes worth half a million in order to get more people on the first rung of the housing ladder.
Mr Hammond said: “With effect from today for all first-time buyer purchases up to £300,000, I am abolishing stamp duty altogether.”
Jasjyot Singh, mortgages director at the Halifax, said “The changes to stamp duty are a real boost for those hoping to take their first step on the property ladder.
“Today’s first-time buyers need to find an average deposit of £32,899 — if they do manage to purchase their first home, they are on average £651 a year better off owning versus renting.
“The number of first-time buyers getting on the housing ladder has now exceeded 150,000 for the third time in four years — a level of momentum not seen since before the financial crisis.
“We will be lending over £10 billion in 2017 to help people own their first home.”
Mr Singh’s comments were echoed by Ollie Purdue, the 24-year-old CEO and founder of Loot, a digital current account specifically aimed at millennials.
He said: “Today’s budget outlined by the chancellor was particularly welcome news for younger generations — specifically for those with a dream of one day owning their own house.
“Shockingly, home ownership for those aged between 25 and 34 years old stands at just 39 per cent, and real solutions that young people actually felt the impact of are long overdue.
“The biggest financial worry for those under 35 is affordable housing — in particular raising a sizeable enough deposit to get on the housing ladder. The abolition of stamp duty for first time buyers purchasing a property of up to £300,000, or the first £300,000 of properties up to £500,000, is welcome news for all those dreaming of owning their own home one day.
“It’s particularly positive for those in London, where the average stamp duty for a first-time buyer sits at over £10,000. This change will save 80 per cent of first-time buyers from having to pay any stamp duty at all.
“It’ll take a significant number of other changes to really turn around the housing market for young buyers, but this is certainly a step in the right direction and will allow people to get on the housing ladder quicker.”
In a further boost for younger homebuyers, this week has seen claims that first-time buyer developments could spring up around the country if a new scheme to relax planning laws goes ahead.
This would see councils having to offer homes for sale or rent in “first-time buyer led developments”.
Homes for younger buyers could be built in hubs designated by councils for affordable first-time properties. However, land in the green belt would not be included in the scheme.
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