In a rather surprising turn for this Tory Government, Chancellor, Phillip Hammond MP announced in his budget on 22/11/2017 that First Time Buyers (FTB) would pay ZERO Stamp Duty (SDLT) on properties under £300,000 and in London, SDLT of 5% between £300,001 and £500,000.
This means that FTBs will be saving a staggering £5000 in SDLT on the purchase of their new home.
At Dendrow, we love finding new homes for all of our clients and in times such as these, we sit and think how can we help.
Rightmove and other portals can be a great source of information when searching for a property and Dendrow’s Brand Exposure on Rightmove has surpassed 40,000 views a week in the last six months. In terms of Brand and properties being seen, for an independent agent in West London, this is astonishing. So whilst we may not have a plethora of Properties for sale at these price points for FTBs, we do have some and more coming to market every day.
As of today 23/11/2017 Rightmove has 2629 properties listed in the “London” area for under £300,000
Also between £300,000 and £500,000 there are 13,753 properties on the market
Both maps above show that there are plenty of properties in London at those price ranges, albeit with maximum filter definition.
Would it be possible to by a 2 bedroom house in Kensington at that price? Probably not, but what do first time buyers really look for in a home? Is it a step on the property ladder? A roof over head? Or is it freedom to choose?
However, there is another issue to contend with. Reduced SDLT or no SDLT doesn’t mean that a FTB can just buy a property, there is also the matter of the Lender’s Criteria in offering the Mortgage and then the acquisition of the Deposit, even with a government scheme can be a challenge and for some it may mean that the Bank of Mum and Dad may be called upon.
Is this a turning point in the Market for First Time Buyers? Maybe. Yet an article published by thisismoney.co.uk states that '…Office of Budget Responsibility said this (elimination or reduction of SDLT for FTB) would feed through into higher house prices, meaning first-time buyers pay more. Its review said: ‘Thus the main gainers from the policy are people who already own property, not the first time buyers themselves.’