30 Oct

our first house

1st-time buyers remain No.1 housing priority in 2018 Budget

First-time buyers continued to take priority in Government housing policy with the news in this week’s Budget that Stamp Duty Land Tax relief is being expanded and the Help to Buy schemes are being extended to 2023.

Chancellor Philip Hammond told MPs on Monday that fixing the housing market remained a key aim of the Government.

The stamp duty relief was introduced in the 2017 Autumn Budget. And on Monday, Mr Hammond announced that first-time buyers purchasing a shared ownership home valued up to £500,000 would not have to pay the duty.

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Stamp duty relief will be retrospective

Importantly, he confirmed that the expanded relief would be retrospective. That means any first-time buyer who has bought a shared ownership home with a price tag of up to £500,000 since the 2017 Budget can claim a rebate of the duty they had to pay.

In his Budget speech to the Commons, Mr Hammond said: “In last year’s Budget I launched a five-year, £44 billion housing programme to deliver the biggest increase in housing supply since 1970 and I abolished stamp futy for first-time buyers on properties up to £300,000; 121,500 first-time buyers have already benefited from our new relief and the number of first-time buyers is at an 11-year high.

“Today I am extending this relief to all first-time buyers of shared ownership properties valued up to £500k and we will make this relief retrospective so any first-time buyer who has made such a purchase since the last Budget will benefit.”

Help to Buy funding extended by 2 years

Shared ownership is part of the Help to Buy programme with around 200,000 shared ownership homes across the UK. Participants purchase 25-75 percent of a property from a housing association and can use a process called staircasing to buy increased shares until eventually they own outright.

Help to Buy also includes ISAs that involve the Government giving savers a tax-free boost when they save for a deposit. Funding for all Help to Buy schemes will stay in place now until 2023, a two-year extension on its initial end date of 2021.

The housing infrastructure fund is to be boosted by an extra £500 million while the Government is establishing strategic partnership with nine housing associations to deliver 13,000 homes in England.

Relaxing planning rules for housing development

The Chancellor also focused on planning changes. Councils will be allowed to access a £675 million fund to transform town centres, including simplifying the rules that would allow retail premises to be turned into homes.

A new £8.5 million fund will allow 500 parish councils across England to support neighbourhood schemes to allocate land and grant planning permission that mean local people often priced out of buying a home can purchase an affordable property.

Homeward Legal’s 1st-time buyer hub has answers

First-time buyers can find all the essential information they need on buying a home for the first time, from conveyancing services to Help to Buy and everything in between at Homeward Legal’s First-Time Buyer hub.

You can also get an instant no-obligation quote for low-cost, high-quality conveyancing services by calling our team on 0800 038 6699 or online.