Recent cuts to stamp duty gave the UK property market a welcome boost this summer.
The government’s decision to remove stamp duty for first time buyers has rejuvenated the lower end of the housing ladder, helping more than 120,000 buyers avoid £284 million in purchase costs. The tax no longer applies to such buyers of properties up to £300,000 in value, and sharply reduces the cost in properties up to £500,000 in London.
‘The cut to stamp duty for first time buyers is helping to make the dream of home ownership a reality for a new generation,’ said Mel Stride, Financial Secretary to the Treasury.
Almost half of all new home buyers have benefited from the cut, which formed part of last autumn’s budget with £44 billion allocated to housing issues. The Help to Buy equity loan scheme and the associated ISA have also had an effect on home buying figures, the government claims.
The boost in sales may have contributed to a rise in UK property values of an annualised 2.5 per cent in July, up from 2 per cent in June. ‘On the ground there has been a noticeable increase in properties being listed,’ said real estate commentator Sam Mitchell. However he noted that ‘the weather has been so un-British-like that most people have been outside making the most of it, rather than viewing properties.’