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Autumn Budget 2017: Stamp duty cut predicted for first-time buyers

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  • 13/11/2017
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Autumn Budget 2017: Stamp duty cut predicted for first-time buyers
Stamp duty is tipped to be cut for first-time buyers in the Autumn Budget, as Philip Hammond seeks to address inter-generational unfairness when he lays out the nation’s finances on November 22.

The Chancellor is expected to announce fresh help for young people trying to get a foot on the property ladder by reducing the burden of the controversial buying levy.

Critics say that stamp duty has put pressure on the housing market in the past couple of years and pushed down the number of transactions – particularly for high value sales.

At the top end of the market, on sales of £1.5m, buyers are hit with a bill of 12%.

An additional 3% stamp duty must now also be paid by investors and anyone purchasing a second home.

However, Hammond is thought to be less likely to make changes to these policies, which are helping to provide the Treasury with bumper income from the duty.

In an effort to boost housing supply the Government could introduce measures which increases construction on brownfield sites.

But amid Brexit-pressured finances is not expected to overhaul housing policies.

Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent and a former RICS residential chairman, said:Radical action in the Budget to address the main issues is unlikely while political and economic uncertainty prevails.

I believe removal or reduction of the 3 per cent stamp duty surcharge, despite benefitting the whole market, would be perceived as a political U-turn and especially when stamp duty receipts are still rising.

“Nevertheless, on the high street we have found that stamp duty at more affordable price levels remains a significant tax on mobility and barrier to activity.

“Increasing the lowest stamp duty thresholds in line with inflation would help aspiring first-time buyers address their biggest obstacle – raising a deposit.”

 

Incentive to downsize

It’s also been suggested stamp duty could be cut or removed for last-time buyers, encouraging older homeowners to downsize and free-up housing stock.

Jeremy Duncombe, director of Legal & General Mortgage Club, said: “For many, Stamp Duty is acting as a roadblock.

“An exemption for some would help stimulate the housing market for new buyers, whilst allowing older homeowners to downsize and free up thousands of existing properties.

“If we can incentivise people to move by removing some of these financial barriers, we can address some of the bottlenecks choking up the housing market.”

A Treasury spokeswoman said: “We don’t comment on Budget speculation.”

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