Thousands of first-time buyers benefit from stamp duty cut
On 22 November 2017, Chancellor Philip Hammond unveiled a sweetener for first-time buyers by announcing stamp duty would be cut for properties up to £300,000.
Effective immediately, it also applies to the first £300,000 for properties worth up to £500,000 purchased by first-time buyers.
At the time, Hammond said the move would bring savings for 95% of all first-time buyers who pay stamp duty while 80% of first-time buyers would pay no stamp duty at all, saving them up to £5,000.
It is six weeks since the tax changes came into effect and today, Prime Minister, Theresa May said an estimated 16,000 people have already benefited from the stamp duty reforms.
Over the next five years, more than a million first-time buyers are set to save on stamp duty bills.
The PM said: “I have made it my personal mission to build the homes this country needs so we can restore the dream of home ownership for people up and down the UK.
“In the Autumn we set out ambitious plans to fix the broken housing market and make sure young people have the same opportunities as their parents’ generation to own their own home.
“This has had an immediate impact, with thousands of people already making savings thanks to our stamp duty cut, and over a million first-time buyers over the next five years are expected to save money that they can put towards a deposit, solicitors’ fees or furniture.
“We are building a Britain that is fit for the future and our message to the next generation is this – getting on – and climbing up – the housing ladder is not just a dream of your parents’ past, but a reality for your future.”
Stamp duty cut ‘raises house prices’
Labour’s shadow housing secretary, John Healey, said the stamp duty changes will simply push up house prices.
He said: “The number of young homeowners is in free-fall but under the Tories the number of new low-cost homes for first-time buyers has halved and not a single one of the 200,000 ‘starter homes’ promised has been built.
“After almost eight years of Conservative failure on housing, homelessness has doubled, home-ownership has fallen to a 30-year low and the number of new social rented homes is at the lowest level since records began.”
He added: “It’s clear Theresa May has no plan to fix the country’s housing crisis.”