Budget 2017: Property News
This week’s budget saw the abolition of stamp duty for First Time Buyers – for the first £300,000. This is the new threshold after which new buyers will have to pay stamp duty. For existing owners who are buying a new property, or if a couple is purchasing and one person is not a First Time Buyer, the new starting limit does not apply.

first time property buyerIt is hoped that this will help First Time Buyers to take their first step on the property ladder. This is especially timely as NAEA Propertymark’s latest figures shown that sales to First Time Buyers fell in October to the lowest figure seen since February - dropping 11% from the previous month.

What does this mean within the London property market?

In London, the average house prices are 12 times the average worker’s salary. The new First Time Buyer threshold equates to a £5,000 saving on the average price of first homes in London. “This will come as a small relief to those struggling to save up for deposits and stamp duty,” says Jason Dyer of JTM Homes.

Act now!

“First Time Buyers should think about acting quickly to take advantage of this stamp duty ban, before the extra demand it creates pushes up prices and starts to eat away at the extra cash this stamp duty exemption will free up," says Rightmove director and housing market analyst, Miles Shipside. "The Government has already put Buy To Let landlords on the back foot with its three per cent stamp duty surcharge, so this extra advantage of no stamp duty or lower stamp duty on purchases over £300,000 gives First Time Buyers an extra edge. "

Other Property Announcements:

New Homes News
The Budget also confirmed that an average of 300,000 homes will be built each year by 2025, which will be the biggest annual increase in housing supply since 1970. Courting controversy as to which land will be used for new housing, the Chancellor outlined building programmes that would concentrate on urban areas with good transport links and job creation – in other words, where people want to live. To help with these plans, the Government is doubling the Housing Infrastructure Fund and lifting Housing Revenue Account caps, enabling councils to borrow more funds to build more homes for First Time Buyers and renters.

In addition, the Help to Buy Equity Loan scheme was extended for an extra year, to 2021 with an extra £10 billion of funding. The Evening Standard reports that 4,586 Londoners have bought a home with an equity loan, out of 134,558 nationwide.

Rental
No Budget announcements were made regarding the rental market – however the Chancellor confirmed that the Government is considering ways to encourage landlords to offer longer rental tenancies, providing more security to those that seek it.