Now that the dust has settled, at Lint Group we have been studying the repercussions of Philip Hammonds’ November budget in more detail, specifically the stamp duty concession. There have been mutterings, which are getting louder, claiming that the stamp duty holiday for first time buyers might have been a little more than a PR stunt.
Leg-up or PR stunt?
One critic is Sarah Beeny, TV star and owner of estate agent Tepilo who is doubtful that the move by the chancellor will do much to help house prices or the property market in the UK, and at Lint, we agree.
The truth is, the cut in stamp duty for those making their first house purchase is unlikely to make any significant difference. The stamp duty let-off applies to properties from £300,000 and most first time buyers are buying properties that cost less than that, in a grouping who pay little or no stamp duty, anyway.
The wider view
At Lint we feel that the bottom line on this is that stamp duty exemption will be of help to a small section of first time buyers who are buying high worth properties for which they already have the funds.
Another expert whose opinion we were interested in was Martin Lewis, Money Expert who queried what the position would be if one home buyer was a first time buyer and their partner was not, but also added that he did not think the chancellor’s new stamp duty offering would make much difference.
At Lint, we feel that a better move would have been to offer the stamp duty holiday to the second time buyer and those looking to downsize. This would have injected movement to the market and allowed buyers on all rungs of the property ladder, from the first time buyer to the downsizer, to move more freely.
The roof over your head
Property, the acquisition of it or the lack of it, are very emotive topics. Having somewhere to call home is a very fundamental need, and there will have been a lot of people waiting in eager anticipation for the budget this autumn, hoping that it would help them towards achieving their dream of owning their own home. At Lint we have long experience in the housing field, and we know how much emotion can be involved around the subject of the roof over our head.
While we think that the cut in stamp duty did look like a bright light at the end of a dark tunnel, looking at it in more detail, we do think that the better strategy for the housing market as a whole would have been to make concessions targeted or generally applied elsewhere on the property ladder, to get the house market moving.
Opinion seems to be that the stamp duty concession could definitely have been better distributed and at Lint Group we feel strongly that more research and study needs to be done into what moves will bring real benefit to the housing market in the UK.