By Ian Molyneaux
CHANCELLOR OF the Exchequer, Phillip Hammond has today announced stamp duty will be abolished immediately for first-time buyers buying a home of up to £300,000.
Traditionally announced in spring, the budget was moved to autumn this year by Hammond to allow time for changes to be implemented at the start of the financial year in April 2018.
Labour’s success in the recent general election was attributed to Jeremy Corbyn’s rising popularity with the younger generation, so there was increasing pressure for the Conservative government to deliver a budget that helped the young.
One of the key announcements today was the abolition of stamp duty for first time buyers on properties under £300,000, which will save buyers around £5,000. In areas of the country where house prices are higher the value of the property can increase to £500,000.
The Chancellor’s statement on stamp duty has been welcomed by people working in the property industry in Leeds.
Andrew Hardisty, 37, director at Hardisty and Co in Horsforth, said: “We run both an estate agency and mortgage brokerage and our view is it will be helpful and positive to first time buyers.
“We see how tight their figures are for them and how hard they are having to save up for their deposits.
“Any help to first time buyers in a rising market in the popular areas we cover will help chains and help the whole market progress.”
Other organisations in Leeds have met the announcement today with a more sceptical tone.
Mark Goldstone, head of business representation and policy at West and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “With confirmation that the economy looks set to slow over the coming year the Chancellor found some wiggle room in his 2017 budget.
“The Chancellor recognised the need for more housing and the surprise rabbit from the hat was the abolition of stamp duty for first time buyers on properties up to £300,000.
“Whilst this may ease the burden and enable more young people to get on the housing ladder for the first time, there still needs to be a big push on developing more houses in the right locations else limited supply will only continue to exacerbate and distort the regional housing market.”