First-time buyers have recently been given a reprieve from payment of stamp duty tax on homes up to the value of £300,000. However, the reform has been dubbed a “hollow promise” by some experts in the field.
Sarah Beeny, the owner of Tepilo estate agents, stated that she does not think that the changes will make much difference to borrowers or the property market. According to Beeny, the stamp duty reform is unlikely to have much of an impact, as most first-time buyers pay very little or no stamp duty when they buy their first home. She added that the home buyers who do pay stamp duty are those buying high-value properties, and have sufficient funds to do so. The celebrity added that the reform appeared to be designed to make headline news.
A suggestion made by Beeny was to reduce stamp duty for those who were moving to the second rung of the property ladder, or downsizing, as this would have a huge impact. This would result in more homes suitable for first-time buyers being available, and would encourage free movement in the property market.
Russell Quirk, the CEO and founder of eMoov.co.uk, said that the pledge was one he had heard previously, but that had never been fulfilled. Quirk did not seem to believe that the Chancellor would be able to deliver on his pledge to build more homes, pointing to previous promises by the Treasury as evidence.
First-time buyers who may be able to benefit from the stamp duty reform may want to speak to a CeMAP qualified advisor to maximise savings.