At Sewell & Gardner we are disappointed to have learnt that the first-time buyer stamp duty concession is terminating on March 24 2012 as scheduled. The concession, which was brought in on March 25 2010, removed the 1% stamp duty banding below £250,000 for all first time buyers. The intention was to encourage more first time buyers to get onto the property ladder by reducing the amount of money they need to save to be able to purchase their first home. This has been particularly helpful of late due to the larger deposits required in order to obtain a mortgage.
Prior to this recent concession, in 2008 the threshold of £125,000 was temporarily increased to £175,000, which was a move that also helped to encourage more first time buyers onto the property ladder.
The recent announcement from chancellor George Osborne means that as of March 24 2012 the stamp duty bandings for residential properties will revert to the following:
£0 – £125,000 – 0%
£125,001 – £250,000 – 1%
£250,001 – £500,000 – 3%
£500,001 – £1,000,000 – 4%
£1,000,001 + – 5%
The reason that chancellor George Osborne gave for proceeding with the termination of the concession was “The government is publishing analysis showing that the stamp duty land tax relief for first-time buyers has been ineffective in increasing the number of first time buyers entering the market. This relief will therefore end on 24 March 2012 as planned. The Government is instead prioritising more effective measures which provide better value for money as set out above and in Laying the Foundations: A Housing Strategy for England
Many commentators have been calling for a reprieve to its end, and at Sewell & Gardner we agree that the concession has helped encourage and assist more first time buyers to purchase their first home and that an extension to the stamp duty holiday for first time buyers would have been a more positive step in helping to improve the current property market.
If you are a first time buyer and you want to purchase your first home before the concession terminates next year, call us on 01923 776400 or 01923 285886 to find out what properties we have available up to £250,000 in the Rickmansworth and Chorleywood area.