Chancellor right to help first time buyers with stamp duty cut, says Falbros chief


Chancellor Philip Hammond is right to consider helping first time buyers who are almost priced out of home ownership, says chief Alex Ewen.

The chancellor is said to be considering a cut to stamp duty for first-time buyers amongst other measures being studied ahead of next month's Budget.

News comes as a Conservative source told the London Evening Standard: “The Budget is a good opportunity to seize the political initiative domestically through bold measures on issues like housing. A stamp duty cut for first-time buyers would help all those in London whose starter homes are above the threshold of £125,000.”

And Mr Ewen, Falbros CEO, said: “Some first time buyers are priced out of home ownership, so It is welcome news that the chancellor is considering helping out. Take London, for instance, where average first homes now cost £428,526 -- so you can see there is a real need.

"It goes without saying that lowering stamp duty for new entrants would be positive but, even if it were removed entirely, it would not address what seem to be deep underlying issues that mean the average first home deposit required in the capital is now in the region of more than £100,000.

"We need structural improvements to increase supply of the right types of homes alongside alternative ways of investing in the property market so that those who cannot yet afford to buy do not miss out. It is so very important for so many reasons.”

Industry experts have warned that such a move could push up house prices, negating any savings. Homebuyers in England and Wales paid £8.3 billion in stamp duty in 2016 - that is £1.2 billion more than in 2015, according to Lloyds Bank research.

It found that the proportion of first-time buyers paying stamp duty has risen in the past 16 years from 47 per cent in 2001 to 78 per cent in 2017. In London, homebuyers paid a total of £40,576, which is 320 per cent more than the average for England and Wales.

In Greater London, 100 per cent of first-time buyers face paying stamp duty with 98 per cent of first-time buyers paying the tax in the South East. The only region where fewer than half of first-time buyers pay stamp duty is the North at 41 per cent.


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