We welcome withdrawal of stamp duty for first-time buyers in ‘positive’ Budget

We welcomed the announcement by Chancellor Philip Hammond in yesterday’s budget that stamp duty is to be abolished for first-time buyers purchasing properties worth up to £300,000.

Phillip Bates & Co Chartered Financial Planners predicted a reduction in stamp duty for first-time buyers was likely, but that it would perhaps be a temporary one. So far, no date has been announced for when this change will run until.

Alan Mellor, Managing Director of Phillip Bates & Co Chartered Financial Planners, said: “We feel that yesterday’s budget was a positive one as it gives something for everyone.

“There is great news for those looking to get on the housing ladder – no stamp duty for properties worth up to £300,000 is significant. It is worth noting however that this change applies exclusively to first-time buyers – to be eligible, you must have never had a stake in any property before.

“There has been talk that the announcement could hike up house prices and it may well do in the short-term, but this of course is all speculation and its impact remains to be seen.

“We suspect that the announcements relating to housing will be felt most in the South-east of the country and it is notable that plans have been announced to build five new garden towns here too. The towns will be built largely between Oxford and Cambridge – cities known for their focus on technology. Indeed, boosting advances in technology appears to be an underlying theme in this budget and is surely one that is only to be encouraged if we are to make our own way post-Brexit.”

Back in October, Alan also predicted that pension tax relief may come under the spotlight with discussions having stepped up a gear this year in the lead-up to the budget.

He added: “Although there was no announcement with regards to pension tax relief in the budget, we do feel that this an issue that’s bubbling away under the surface and that we may well see an announcement soon.”