During yesterday’s Budget, Chancellor Philip Hammond announced that the cancellation of stamp duty for first-time buyers will be extended to first-time buyers of shared ownership properties valued at up to £500,000, which has been labelled as “only right” by Trussle CEO and founder Ishaan Malhi.
“The purpose of the Shared Ownership scheme is to give those of more restricted financial means a route to owning their own home, so it’s only right that the people using it receive the same stamp duty boost as other first-time buyers,” Malhi stated.
“When the Chancellor introduced the policy last year it split opinion, with some believing that this would lead to higher house prices. This doesn’t appear to have happened and it’s difficult to argue with the numbers, with more than 121,000 people benefitting so far.”
The Trussle CEO highlighted that the decision to increase the threshold from £300,000 to £500,000 will “make a huge difference” to first-time buyers in the most expensive parts of the UK, such as London, where the average price for a property is “just shy” of this total.
This view was echoed by PRIMIS and Personal Touch Financial Services (PTFS) chief operating officer Toni Smith, who added that “the government’s continued commitment to help make home ownership a reality should be applauded”.
Smith commented: “For first-time buyers the extension of the Stamp Duty break for shared ownership should be welcomed. Other government initiatives such as Help to Buy have helped thousands of people to realise their home ownership dreams.”
Commenting on the decision by Hammond to introduce a new Help to Buy Equity Loan scheme for first-time buyers in April 2021, TMA Club senior business and product manager Rob McCoy said: “Making this available at 1.5 times the current forecast regional average first-time buyer price – and up to £600,000 in London should see many more provided the opportunity to step onto the property ladder.”
McCoy further commended the Chancellor for extending the stamp duty exemption to £500,000 for shared ownership for first-time buyers, citing it as a “further step in the right direction”, but noted that it “perhaps” should have been addressed in the last Budget.
“Nevertheless, both this announcement – and the Government’s continued commitment to helping aspiring homeowners via Help to Buy is certainly welcome,” he concluded.
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