It was confirmed during Wednesday’s Budget that first-time buyers will not have to pay Stamp Duty tax on house purchases, as long as the property costs £300,000 or less.
Philip Hammond, the Chancellor, announced that the measure would take immediate effect. According to the Chancellor, around 80% of first-time buyers will benefit from the measure. If you buy a property costing up to £500,000, Stamp Duty will be reduced by £5,000. However, properties costing more than £500,000 will attract the full Stamp Duty tax.
The tax benefit will apply to first-time buyers in England, Northern Ireland, and Wales until March 31, 2018, but Scotland will not benefit from the new break. To qualify for the benefit, first-time buyers must not have owned a home previously, and if buying with someone else, that person must also be a first-time buyer.
House building was also in the spotlight, with £44bn being pledged by the Chancellor to get house building projects started. A new target has been set of building 300,000 properties a year until the 2020s. The Chancellor has promised that the new homes will be in areas where job creation is highest, and people want to live.
Empty homes will also be tackled, as the Chancellor is set to give local authorities the go ahead to increase the council tax premium on empty homes to 100%, although this will not have an immediate impact as it will be part of new legislation.
If you are considering buying your first home, speak to a CeMAP qualified mortgage advisor to see how the Budget could benefit you.