Chancellor Philip Hammond made the housing market a particular focus of the Budget he delivered to the House of Commons on Wednesday. Here’s what we learned from the Budget and how it will affect first-time buyers.
Stamp Duty has been abolished with immediate effect for first-time buyers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland where a property is worth less than £300,000. No Stamp Duty will be paid on the first £300,000 of a property valued at up to £500,000 in London and other areas where homes are most expensive (those areas have still to be defined). It’s estimated 80 percent of first-time buyers now won’t have to pay Stamp Duty.
Increasing the supply of new homes is a priority with a target of 300,000 being built annually in England by the mid-2020s set by the Chancellor.
Five new garden towns are to be created across England while one million new homes are promised for the Cambridge-Milton Keynes-Oxford corridor.
To discourage owners from leaving their properties vacant, councils will be allowed to levy the full council tax charge on empty homes.
An extra £44 billion will be spent over the next five years to improve construction skills, encourage more SME builders to return to building houses and free up land for building.
Developers who “land bank” – sitting on land they own without starting construction – will face compulsory purchases orders if they don’t start work, again aimed at increasing the supply of housing.
A review into why delays stop construction starting on sites that already have planning permission will be carried out and report to the Treasury by the spring of 2018.
If you’re a first-time buyer, check out Homeward Legal’s comprehensive First-Time Buyers’ Hub where all your questions about purchasing for the very first time are covered in detail.