Spring Statement fails to mention stamp duty rates

News Article

Chancellor Philip Hammond’s latest Spring Statement has supported house builders but offers little respite for struggling home buyers.

For estate agents, at least, the statement offered better news as speculation that property taxes might increase or the housing market might be subjected to ever more stringent regulations, has thankfully come to nothing.

Second steppers or home owners who wish to downsize still face financial penalties, thanks to the Stamp Duty Land Tax, which is believed to be creating a barrier for many people who would otherwise consider moving up or down the property ladder.

Overshadowed to some extent by the continuing Brexit debate, the statement included a few minor announcements about house building.

These included a repeat of the autumn 2017 Budget pledge to provide at least £44 billion to raise housing supply to 300,000 a year over five years, another £3 billion for affordable homes, new planning guidance to widen numbers of property types on development sites, more housing in the Cambridge-to-Oxford corridor, plus reforms including allowing more change of use between premises and the upwards extension of existing buildings to create new homes.

Nick Leeming, Chairman of estate agency consortium, Jackson Stops, told industry publication, The Negotiator: “The property industry and home movers across the country were once again hoping for some relief in the form of cuts to stamp duty rates on properties in the middle to top end of the market. And once again, we have had no such luck.

“Hammond’s pot of gold, which is set aside to assist with any upset caused by a no-deal Brexit, could have been put to far better use. But instead buyers and second homeowners alike are having to fork out thousands in unwarranted stamp duty costs.”

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