AUTUMN STATEMENT NO CHEER FOR FIRST TIME BUYERS
CHRISTMAS WILL LAST ONLY ANOTHER 84 DAYS FOR FIRST TIME BUYERS SAYS SANTA OSBORNE
“How extraordinary” says Trevor Kent Former President of the NAEA and property commentator, “that the Government should be trumpeting their plans to resuscitate the housing market just days ago, yet forgo the opportunity today to lengthen the Stamp Duty holiday for first time buyers.”
The Chancellor’s Autumn Statement was the ideal time to cheer up buyers and sellers by continuing the exemption from Stamp Duty which was due to finish at midnight on 24th March 2012. “This saving of up to £2500 of cash which first time buyers will now have to pay to the government for the privilege of buying a roof over their heads will make the difference between buying and staying put for many” continues Kent. “It is hard enough for them to have saved enough for the inflated deposits that lenders now demand, often up to 25% of the purchase price. What a kick in the teeth for them to discover that if they can’t make their purchase before late March, George Osborne will demand his pound of flesh too”.
It would also have been an ideal time to have announced a total rethink of Stamp Duty levels throughout all price bands. Some may think it serves a million pound buyer right (for having so much money to flash) and a £50,000 Stamp Tax bill is nothing for them – but it is, and is the main reason the higher level market is faltering. Some suggest that this state of affairs has no effect on first time buyers at the lower market levels, but it does. 70% of sales are in chains of many sales, usually starting with a first time buyer and linking, transaction by transaction, on up to the million pounders eventually. If the top end sale fails to proceed because of extortionate 5% Stamp Duty charge, then the whole castle collapses leaving all the links without a deal, especially the first timers, and tragically it’s the first timers that will have no savings left to start again after the expenses of an abortive purchase.
Former President NAEA
Property Commentator & Broadcaster
© Trevor Kent