Head of Research Nicola Almond comments on the lack of further action on housing in yesterday’s Spring Budget
As widely feared, Chancellor Philip Hammond did not announce any changes to Stamp Duty in yesterday’s budget. Nor did he announce any further incentives to fix what the government referred to less than a month ago as the ‘broken’ housing market.
Although It is widely accepted that changes to Stamp Duty since 2014 have dampened activity in the market, the government has given no indication that further changes will be made, despite increased lobbying from key players in the property sector.
We now need to wait at least until November for any further measures. In the meantime expect the clamour for Stamp Duty reform to increase, with demands for help for first time buyers, small investors and downsizers, as well as a rationalisation and reduction of Stamp Duty bands and rates, which fall disproportionately on buyers in London due to the higher cost of properties. The average asking price in the capital is now close to £625,000, attracting a Stamp Duty payment of £21,250.
Currell supports these calls for reform. CEO Anne Currell says “Punitive levels of Stamp Duty act not only as a barrier to entry for first time buyers but also hinder those already on the property ladder who need to move to a larger or smaller home. This is not only frustrating for individuals but also means that we are not making the most efficient use of our housing stock.”