Budget 2017 - Stamp Duty Land Tax "abolished" for first time buyers


Britain's official budget watchdog, the Office for Budget Responsibility, said the stamp duty cut could in fact push house prices up, meaning the total cost of buying a home would rise for first-time purchasers even with the tax reduction.

Whilst today's reforms provide a welcome relief for some first time buyers, they do nothing to assist those already on the property ladder and little to assist those first time buyers looking to join the property ladder in London.

Experts have warned however that it could cause prices to inch up though.

First-time buyers purchasing a house worth up to £500,000 in London and other expensive areas will now pay no stamp duty on the first £300,000, while first-time buyers purchasing a home worth up to £300,000 will pay no stamp duty at all. The budget did not disappoint, introducing reforms for first time buyers, but did it go far enough?

"When we say we will revive the home-owning dream in Britain we mean it", said finance minister Philip Hammond during his annual budget statement on Wednesday. Although it's likely to benefit those able to afford their first property, it may not bring quite the same benefit for those saving for a deposit.

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Prior to this budget it was paid by anyone buying a property costing more than £125,000 and adds £2,020 to the upfront cost of a £226,000 home - the current United Kingdom average price.

Whilst the abolition of the tax came into effect yesterday, the real impact on the housing market is yet to be seen.

The average house price in London is almost 500,000 pounds, around 15 times the average London salary, according to official data, making many areas of the capital unaffordable to young people. In some parts of the country, the average price is still below the £125,000 threshold so homes still change hands tax-free.

But in a series of measures created to win back voters, Hammond said on Wednesday he would make a further 15 billion pounds available to build 300,000 homes per year, far higher than the 217,350 new homes that came onto the market in 2016/17.

A review to find out where there is a gap between the number of homes granted planning consent and the number built.