First-time buyers attempting to get on the housing ladder in London have been given a boost with the abolition of Stamp Duty on properties worth up to £300,000.
Those buying a home for the first time that’s worth up to £500,000 in London and other expensive areas across England won’t have to pay a penny of Stamp Duty on the first £300,000 of that transaction.
Chancellor Philip Hammond made the announcement on the Stamp Duty changes in the Budget today, telling the House of Commons that 80 percent of first-time buyers will now avoid paying the land tax.
He said: “I want to take action to help young people saving to own a home. With effect from today, for all first-time buyers up to £300,000, I am abolishing Stamp Duty altogether.
“To ensure that this relief also helps first time buyers in very high price areas like London, it will also be available on the first £300,000 of the purchase price of properties up to £500,000.”
Stamp Duty reform had been discussed at length before the Budget with property and financial experts united on viewing the tax as a barrier to social mobility and an increased burden on younger buyers.
Stamp Duty Land Tax is paid on all residential property worth £125,000 or more and on commercial properties sold at more than £150,000. It is levied on a sliding scale and raises around £11 billion a year for the Treasury.
There were other measures that focused on the housing market, too. Mr Hammond set a target of 300,000 new homes being built every year in England by the mid-2020s, more than double the average number currently being built. An extra £44 billion will also be spent over the next five years to improve construction skills, encourage small builders to return to the house-building market and free up land for building.
Urban areas, in particular cities and large towns, will be targeted to provide high-quality, high-density housing, while councils and London boroughs will be able to impose the full council tax on empty properties to encourage owners not to leave them vacant.
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