In the November Autumn Budget, The Chancellor, Philip Hammond, announced the abolition of Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) for all properties up to £300,000 bought by first-time buyers with immediate effect. Those first-time buyers spending up to £500,000 also now benefit, as the first £300,000 of the purchase price is no longer subject to the tax. Previously SDLT was paid on all purchases over £125,000.
This move will make a significant difference for both buyers and sellers in the local area, saving four out of five first-time buyers up to £5,000. Recognising the challenges faced by those in high value areas, such as Surrey and Hampshire, by applying the exemption to properties up to £500,000, will make home ownership more achievable.
Since the announcement, we have already seen a notable increase in enquiries and viewings booked for properties in this price bracket, with 51% of our stock priced £500,000 or below.
Helping first-time buyers get onto the property ladder will, in turn, enable those further up the ladder to trade up or down, as those who have been putting off selling over concerns that buyer demand was not there, may now be encouraged to do so.
It is also likely to increase demand on new build developments, such as Principle House in Fleet, which already offers Help to Buy. Here, one-bedroom apartments start from £210,000 and the largest two-bedroom apartments are £315,000, meaning the development will now be even more attractive to those looking for their first home.