The autumn budget is being announced next week, 22nd November, in advance of the announcements the rumour mill is in full flow with speculation as to what will be revealed. One rumour which has been refused to quit is the potential for stamp duty to be axed for first time buyers.

Chancellor Phillip Hammond has been getting to grips with the UK housing market since PM Theresa May vowed to seek measures to improve. Communities secretary Sajid Javid has failed to get agreement from ministers for a multi billion pound new housing programme, meaning the Government will inevitably be seeking more agreeable, “softer” options. One consideration is the development of more state-owned brownfield sites, something that surely has to be a strong option, but limited. The real hot-topic discussion in the lead up to next week’s budget seems to be the potential of axing stamp duty for first time buyers.

It has been widely reported by the national press that there is growing generational concerns over the younger voters being locked out of the housing market due to high prices. A concern that is clearly being picked up by the Government and is indeed supported by facts, as the number of homeowners under 45 in England has dropped by 904,000 since 2010.

Whilst stamp duty is a huge obstacle for most, particularly in our region where properties under the boundary of £125,000 are few and far between, it is not the biggest barrier, as deposits are deemed the most challenging aspect for first time buyers. The Help to Buy schemes and ISAs put into place by this Government will have assisted some, but for many the cost of buying is still out of reach, the abolition of stamp duty would indeed be a benefit.

Whilst the budget *may* include this, some new home builders are already offering such incentives. For Pembroke Manor in Hook, a new build from Taylor Wimpey, we are already able to offer stamp duty paid, Help to Buy/Reduced deposits, making it as easy as possible to get on that first step of the housing ladder (click here for more details). We’re also offering stamp duty paid on some plots at Blue Prior from TA Fisher, three and four bedroom homes in Church Crookham, which along with Help to Buy and some recent price reductions could assist those looking to move up the ladder further. You may find that other developers offer similar incentives and would be well worth exploring. 

As much as we’d like to be able to see into the future, next Wednesday’s budget is still a mystery with only rumours to comment on, but hopefully there’ll be something for the housing market to get its teeth into.

 

*Source: Financial Times