Now the dust has settled and details clarified, Aspire is in a strong position to comment on how November’s Budget will affect the SW London property market. Of course, the biggest boost is for first-time buyers. The scrapping of stamp duty for homes under £300,000 will stimulate the whole of the market and we’ve already seen an increase in SW London property searches for homes under £500,000. Stamp duty will now only be paid on the amount between £300,000 and £500,000. The move is estimated to release up to 80% of first-time buyers from the burden of stamp duty.
It’s important to understand the Government’s definition of a genuine first-time buyer. Everyone involved in a ‘first time’ purchase should never have owned a property before, either in the UK or overseas. If two or more people are buying a property together, they must all qualify as a genuine first-time buyer. There are restrictions on those who have inherited or been gifted a property and other more complex caveats, so check with Aspire if you are unsure if you qualify for stamp duty exemption.
The stamp duty announcement may also lead to a strategic approach to pricing, with sellers choosing to pitch at £300,000 and not £310,000 and £500,000 instead of £510,000. “Buyers may set price search filters to just below the new stamp duty thresholds as they will be able to to save thousands of pounds. Smart vendors will be pricing accordingly to generate interest or achieve a quicker sale.”
Elsewhere, the Budget contained details to boost the rate of house building in the UK. Already areas such as Battersea and Fulham have been enjoying exciting new build programmes – notably at Nine Elms - but the Chancellor’s address could bring even more new homes to SW London. It’s hoped planning system reforms, the discouragement of ‘land banking’ (the practice of developers buying land, not building on it and selling it after a number of years for a higher price) and the training of more construction workers will see the number of new homes built on an annual basis reach 300,000.