Posted on Monday, November 27, 2017


The scrapping of stamp duty for first time buyers on properties up to £300,000, and also on the first £300,000 of properties up to £500,000, is wonderful news. It’s also unbelievably overdue.


The upfront costs of getting onto the property ladder are the biggest hindrance to first time buyers. A saving of up to £3,000 on their first purchase will clearly make a difference, covering the costs of solicitors, removals and perhaps even some furniture.


Stimulating the lower end of the market should have knock-on effects up the housing chain with more first time sellers being freed up to enact their own moving plans. With more first time buyers entering the market over the coming months, sellers can look forward to increased demand for their property and, hopefully, a reduced timeframe in agreeing a sale. There are certainly plenty of properties in Redhill that fit into the sub-£300,000 category, so the 2017 Budget should have a positive impact on the local market. You can see every property for sale with Ralph James up to £300,000 by clicking here.


However, first time buyers would be wise to take up the Chancellor’s generous offer as soon as they can. The phrase “market stimulation” is almost always followed by increased activity and that is almost always followed by rising prices: it wouldn’t take much for a price rise to effectively wipe out the saving on stamp duty.


Another however, however, is that sellers shouldn’t necessarily wait around for that hoped/expected increase in prices before marketing their own home. For anyone upsizing, the real money is to be made on the next property and the first step should be to keep the gap between selling price and buying price as small as possible. Getting five percent extra for your current property is hardly of benefit if you pay five percent more for your next, more expensive one.


It’s not yet clear whether the scrapping of stamp duty will apply to purchases by couples where one person has already owned a property, but if it does, that will be some extra special good news for plenty of people who find themselves in that situation.


The advice is then to get up, get out and get moving to make the most of the 2017 budget.