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First-time buyers welcome the Autumn Budget's changes to stamp duty

Following Wednesday's budget, what does the abolished stamp duty on homes up to £300,000 really mean for the UK's first-time buyers? Speak to anybody who has yet to buy their first home and you will be met with a general feeling of frustration as they attempt to get on the property ladder in the UK. So when Philip Hammond announced the stamp duty cut during Wednesday's Autumn Budget, the news will no doubt have been very welcome for first-time buyers.

Paving the way for them to achieve what came more easily for generations before them, young adults especially can now start to feel some relief about the fact that certainly during the last decade, to obtain a mortgage has meant working almost twice as hard as their parents and grandparents did to obtain their first home. It can not be disputed that Millenials have had a rough deal when it comes to housing, employment and the legacy of debt burdening the UK since 1999.

And this period of time has essentially overshadowed their entire lives so far. With regard to buying a "first house", last year's 3% stamp duty surcharge on properties valued at £125,000 and above further compounded this arguably unfair situation for an entire generation. Indeed, stamp duty was regarded by the former Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osbourne, as a "badly designed tax on aspiration", a word often associated with future plans for anybody at any stage of their lives.

Surely, though, this is something that today's generation of young adults feels more acutely, due in large part to the massive impact social media has upon their daily lives.

So Wednesday's announcement that stamp duty would only be paid on properties up to the value of £300,000* couldn't have been more welcomed by those who wish to get onto the property ladder.

But how will this change effect the property market in the longer term?

The news items of the last 48 hours certainly seem to indicate that a common viewpoint is that the rise in demand for houses will push prices up, which will in turn push the price of the average UK house up as well.

However with the average UK house price as of September 2017 being £226,367**, there is certainly plenty of scope within the market to find a property that falls short of the £300,000 threshold.

In the very short-to-mid term, Wednesday's announcement is nothing but good news for first-time buyers. Certainly here at Angela Viney Conveyancing Services we received our first call about the subject matter whilst the budget was still being announced! This really does indicate that buyers are not just savvy, but that there is a market poised and ready to take advantage of what is a very lucky stroke of news for those waiting patiently to start the next chapter of their life. Good news for the future? Talk of the age of austerity may seem prematurely hopeful as the deficit at November 2017 is still high at £40 billion.

Although it is most certainly the lowest it's been since the economic crash in 2008, hence the media's enthusiasm to feel good times are ahead.

Needless to say, when combined with the predicted rise in house prices, one thing's for certain - if you are lucky enough to benefit from this stamp duty cut when making an offer on your first house in the next month, you've got an extra special Christmas to look forward to this year.

And the bonus is that the predictions indicate that you'll have an increase in the equity of your home in time for Christmas 2018! Angela Viney Conveyancing Services offer a FREE consultation prior to instruction.

If you would like to know more, please contact us on 01422 369993 or send an email to

* And up to £300,000 of properties worth up to £500,000 in London. ** Source: UK House Price Index (HM Land Registry)

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